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Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and Homiletical Lange's Commentary
- 1 Chronicles
by Johann Peter Lange
THEOLOGICALLY AND HOMILETICALLY EXPOUNDED
Dr. OTTO ZÖCKLER, D. D.,
Professor Of Theology In The University Of Greifswald, Prussia.
Translated, Enlarged, And Edited
JAMES G. MURPHY, LL. D.,
Professor In The General Assembly’s And The Queen’s College At Belfast.
VOL. VII. OF THE OLD TESTAMENT: CONTAINING CHRONICLES, EZRA, NEHEMIAH, AND ESTHER
PREFACE TO VOL. VII. OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
This volume completes the Commentary on the Historical Books of the Old Testament, written during the period of the reconstruction of the theocracy after the return from exile. It contains:
1. The First and Second Book of Chronicles, by Dr. Otto Zöckler, Professor in the Prussian University of Greifswald (1874), translated and edited by Professor James G. Murphy, LL.D., of Belfast, who is already well known to the American public by his Commentaries on Genesis, Exodus, and the Psalms. Professor Murphy has departed from the method of the other volumes by giving a literal translation of the text instead of the authorized version with emendations in brackets.
2. Ezra, by Dr. Fr. U. Schultz, Professor in the University of Breslau (1876), translated and edited by Dr. Charles A. Briggs, Professor of Hebrew and the Cognate Languages in the Union Theological Seminary, New York, who prepared in part the Commentary on the Psalms for this work.
3. Nehemiah, by Dr. Howard Crosby, Chancellor of the University of New York. Dr. Crosby had finished his work in manuscript before the German Commentary of Dr. Schultz appeared (1876), but he has added a translation of the Homiletical sections from Schultz.
4. Esther, by Dr. Schultz, translated and edited by Dr. James Strong, Professor of Exegetical Theology in Drew Theological Seminary, Madison, N. J. Dr. Strong has translated the frequent Latin citations, added the Textual and Grammatical notes, enlarged the list of exegetical helps, and furnished an excursus on the Apocryphal additions to Esther, and another on the liturgical use of the book among the Jews.
The remaining three of the twenty-four volumes of this Commentary are in the hands of the printer, and will be published at short intervals.
The matter and the whole form of the books of Chronicles afford a sufficient warrant for allowing the homiletic and even the theological part of the exposition to fall more into the background here than elsewhere in this Bible-work. In the following work also, on account of the numerous parallels with the books of Samuel and Kings, an almost exclusive predominance of the historical element might easily be permitted. For with regard to theological and homiletic comment, the corresponding portions of these books have already received a fruitful and valuable treatment in the able works of Bähr and Erdmann, so that reference to them might in every instance have been sufficient. And where anything peculiar to Chronicles was to be explained, it almost always referred to portions like the genealogical lists in 1 Chronicles 2-9, the various supplements to the history of war, and the highly characteristic episodes on the history of worship, which belonged rather to the outer surface, the rind and shell of the theocratic and evangelical system, than to its spiritual ground and essence, and therefore needed rather to be explained historically, than to be considered or applied dogmatically or practically. The homiletic remarks might, therefore, in this volume be omitted as a distinct section, and a group of sections might be thrown together as a basis for the development of theological or evangelical and ethical principles. But besides, it appeared necessary in Chronicles to dwell more frequently on difficulties of a chronological kind, and on apologetic problems connected therewith, on account of which it was requisite, besides and along with those evangelical reflections, to introduce several excursus, some of considerable length, as that on Ophir after 2 Chronicles 8:0, and that on the chronology of the kings during the time of the separate kingdom after 2 Chronicles 32:0.
Of recent literary helps, some that appeared in the course of printing could not be fully employed; for example, the second edition of the commentary of Thenius on the books of Kings (in the Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handbuch zum Alten Testament, Leipzig, S. Hirzel), and the treatise of H. Brande, Die Königsreihen von Juda und Israel nach den biblischen Berichten und den Keilinschriften (Leipzig, Al. Edelmann),—a praiseworthy attempt to remove the chronological differences between the statements of the books of Kings and Chronicles on the one hand, and those of the Assyrian monuments on the other, in which some at least of the discrepancies between the biblical and Assyro-Babylonian computation of time brought forward by Assyriologists, especially by Schrader, have met with an interesting, if not quite satisfactory explanation. And of the simultaneously-appearing third revised edition of C. F. Keil’s Lehrbuch der historisch-kritischen Einleitung in die kanonischen Schriften des Alten Testaments, (Frankfurt a. M., Heyder und Zimmer) obviously no use could be made.
With regard to the question, How the very numerous proper names, especially of persons, in the text of Chronicles were to be treated in their transference into German, the author was presented with a problem not quite easy to solve. Perfect consistency could only be attained either by a close adherence to the text of Luther, or by the thorough restoration of a spelling adapted as strictly as possible to the Hebrew sound; in which latter case, however, names such as Jehova, and the household words Noah, Isaak, Israel, Saul, Salomo, Hiskia, etc., must have given way to the more correct forms Jahve, Noach, Jitschak, Jisrael, Schaul, Schelomo, Jechizkijahu. As this would not have corresponded with the rule elsewhere adopted in our Bible-work, we have taken a middle course. All the well-known current forms of the Lutheran Bible that have been as it were canonized by a usage of several centuries in the tradition of evangelical Germany, especially the divine name Jehova and all names of prominent men of God (patriarchs, prophets, kings, etc.), and of important holy places, we have left wholly unaltered, only with the addition, once for all, of the more exact orthography in parentheses (usually on the first occurrence of the name in question). All less current names, because they belong to less important persons and places, and especially if they occur only once, are immediately and directly expressed in the way more agreeable to the Hebrew sounds; and only when there is a very great deviation from the received orthography in the Lutheran text is this difference noted by the insertion of a parenthesis. For this intermediate course between the customary and the modern mode of writing, we are glad to be able to refer among others to the late Oehler as warrant, who, in p. 146 of the lately published first part of his posthumous Theologie des Alten Testaments (Tübingen, Heckenhauer), expresses his agreement in principle with the rule here laid down, when he declares that such forms as Jehova, Jordan, etc., are less correct than “Jahve, Jarden,” etc., yet not to be supplanted by these more correct forms, and proceeds accordingly throughout the text of his work.
DR. O. ZÖCKLER.
Greifswald, October 1873.
[Translating into English, we shall use the English mode of spelling the ordinary names. J. G. M.]
THE BOOKS OF CHRONICLES
§ 1. On The Import Of Chronicles As A Historical Work, And On Its Relation To The Books Of Samuel And Kings
The last book of the Old Testament canon forms a comprehensive history, which recapitulates the progress of the people of God from Paradise to the close of the Babylonish captivity in a peculiar point of view, partly extracting, partly repeating, and partly supplementing the contents of the earlier canonical books of history, with the exception of the books of Ezra Nehemiah, and Esther, which are later in point of contents than our book.
1. The first or genealogical portion of the work especially extracts or summarily recapitulates the earlier historical books. It embraces the first nine chapters, according to the present division, and contains the genealogies of the patriarchs, the twelve tribes, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, till the beginning of the kingdom (occasionally even beyond it), in order to exhibit the genealogical connection of David, as well as the Levites and priests of his time, with the antediluvian patriarchs of the human race. Only here and there, particularly with respect to the statements concerning the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Levi, this form is changed into that of a completion or enlargement of the former record by peculiar genealogical or historical additions. As a mere repetition of the statements contained in the earlier books, appear several genealogical notices of the first chapter; for example, those relating to the races of the table of nations and the princes of Edom (Gen. 10:36).
2. The second or strictly historical portion of the work partly repeats and partly completes, sometimes with a great fulness of details, the historical books after Moses and Joshua, especially the books of Samuel and Kings. It extends from 1 Chronicles 10:0 to the end of 2 Chron., and mainly presents a history of the kings of Judah from David to Zedekiah, or rather to the edict of Cyrus at the close of the Babylonish captivity. A process of abbreviating, of only summarily recapitulating, and even of wholly passing over a great deal of historical material, now takes place, inasmuch as the writer ignores the facts relating to the private life of David and Solomon, especially when they are unfavourable to their moral character, and in the time after Solomon intentionally turns away his eye from the fortunes of the northern kingdom, and confines himself almost exclusively to the Jewish history of this period. Yet for the whole time from David to the exile he appears more as a supplementer than as a concise repeater of the authors of the books of Samuel and Kings, inasmuch as the intrinsic importance of the addition made by him almost always exceeds that of the passages omitted, and both the omission and the addition appear to have in view certain fixed tendencies, especially the endeavour to glorify the theocratic order of the priests and Levites. If we take into account this particular tendency, as well as the altered circumstances in which he wrote, we arrive at the following points as characteristic of his work, compared with his older predecessors, especially the authors of the books of Samuel and Kings.
a. The books of Samuel and Kings having originated (been reduced to their present form) during the Babylonish exile, are a proper Israelitish national work, treating the history of both kingdoms, Israel and Judah, with equal attention. On the contrary, the Chronist appears as a specially Jewish (Judaising) writer, who belonged to the time after the exile, possibly even of the post-Persian dominion (Hellenic), and from his late age lay too remote from the events of the once existing kingdom of Israel; and, moreover, from his rigid theocratic position, took so little interest in the fortunes of the northern kingdom, that he excluded them altogether from his regard, and produced merely a Jewish chronicle.
b. The standpoint of those older Israelitish national historians is that of the prophet, while the younger Jewish Chronist occupies that of the priest and the Levite. Whereas the former, in accordance with the total depression, the apparently almost hopeless destruction, of the Mosaic temple worship in the exile, take a predominantly spiritual direction, averse to the external side of the theocratic worship, the latter, writing after the exile, at the time of the restored national sanctuary, exhibits a more lively interest in the external institutions and modes of worship, as well as in the order of priests and Levites appointed to take charge of it. From this sacerdotal ecclesiastical direction there follows a third important point of difference.
c. The moral causes of the national misfortune that broke in upon the people, especially their constantly-repeated lapse into idolatry, with which those older historians were most anxiously engaged, are cast into the shade, and often studiously ignored, by the Chronist, so that in the picture presented by him there appears a much smaller number of the gloomy shadows and dark spots of religious apostasy, and consequent national humiliation by heavy divine judgments. While the former obviously follow the tendency “to hold up to them a warning picture, in the tragic history of the Hebrew nation, of the danger of the relapse of a not yet elevated people among heathen nations, and in the narrative of the successive sins of their fathers to give a theodicy to the race already bewildered with respect to the promises and the faithfulness of Jehovah, and show them that their national misfortunes are to be ascribed to their own guilt; on the other hand, for the author of Chronicles, who lived after the exile, from which time the people, purified by affliction, adhered with stern obstinacy to their national God, and who no longer distinguishes accurately between the different kinds of ancient superstition (appears indeed to identify the impure Jehovah-worship of the northern kingdom with complete idolatry), accounts of the earlier superstition must have been of less consequence, because they presented to him less didactic matter and historical interest than to the authors of the older historical work” (Movers).
d. With this is connected the tone of panegyric usual with our author, frequently deviating from the unvarnished manner of the older historians, his apologetic endeavour to make the heroes of the foretime and their deeds to stand forth in the most glorious light, by giving prominence to the more externally than internally significant and ethically important moments, and especially by statistical data concerning the greatness of the temporal and spiritual state of the kings, the magnitude of the festivals celebrated by them, etc.
e. Finally, with regard to the outward form of representation, the younger work contrasts very strongly with the older. As well by its less pure Hebrew style, presenting so many traces of a late age as by its often striking monotony, want of independence and poverty of ideas, its dry annalistic method of statement continued through long sections, and its inclination to direct copying and mere transcribing of the old books of Kings, it falls very far behind the classical originality, the fresh and genial historiographic skill of the other.
To bring these differences between the literary peculiarity of the two parallel elaborations of the history of the people of God till the exile under a single formula, we may with Keil distinguish the older books of Kings as the fruit of the prophetic form of history, and Chronicles as the product of the hagiographic mode. Our work, indeed, belongs more closely to that special development of hagiographic historiography, which, in contrast with the popular method of the books of Ruth and Esther (and with the prophetic mode of the historic sections of Daniel), may be termed the sacerdoto-Levitical, and in which the preference for annalistic statement (appearing also in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, the continuations of Chronicles) must be accounted eminently characteristic. Keil1 justly denies that any one of these special moments, whether popularity, the sacerdoto-Levitical, or the annalistic character, should be applied to the collective historical works of the hagiographic part of the canon. “Common to the collective hagiographic books of history, and characteristic of them, is simply the retreat or the absence of the prophetic view of the course of history according to the divine plan of salvation unfolding itself in the events, instead of which appear individual points of view that show themselves in the prosecution of parenetic, didactic ends, and have a definite influence on the selection and treatment of the facts.”
§ 2. Name Of Chronicles. Relation To The Books Of Ezra And Nehemiah
Of the two most widely accepted designations of our historical work, the one pointing to its annalistic character, the other to the relation of supplement or completion which it bears to the older books of Kings, the former rests on the Hebrew phrase דִּבְרֵי הַיָּמִים. This phrase, before which, according to 1 Kings 14:19; 1 Kings 14:29; 1Ki 15:7; 1 Kings 15:23, the word סֵפֶר (or, according to Esther 6:1, סֵפֶר זִכְרֹנוֹת is to be supplied, means “events of the day, course of events” (res gestæ dierum), and thus presents our work as a “Book of current events,” as a “Chronicle:” which name, not as a literal, but a correct rendering of דִּבְרֵי הַיָּמִים, has been made current by Jerome for the Latin, and by Luther for the German Church.2 So far as this denomination in the quoted passages of the Old Testament refers to divers other historical works, in particular to those old Israelitish royal annals often quoted by our Chronist, the “ books of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel and Judah” (as in Esther 2:23; Esther 6:1; Esther 10:2, the Medo-Persian royal annals, the “book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia”), it appears to be a rather indefinite designation, by which our work should be distinguished quite generally as belonging to the class of annalistic works covering a long space of time. Whether this name proceeds from the author himself, or owes its origin to a later (certainly very old, and at all events pre-Masoretic) tradition, at any rate, the denomination brought into currency by the Sept. Παραλειπόμενα (liber Paralipomenôn) is more significant for the characteristic position and import of the work as a historical book, especially for its relation to the earlier historical books of the canon. For this name, which is to be explained, not with Movers, by supplementa, relics from other historical works, but, in accordance with the patristic tradition in Pseudo-Athanasius (Synopsis Scr. S., in Athanasii Opp. ii. p. 1Ch 83: παραλειφθέντα πολλὰ ἐν ταῖς βασιλειαῖς περιέχεται ἐν τούτοις), in Jerome (Ep. ad Paulin: … “prætermissæ in Regum libris historiæ”3) and Isidore of Seville (Origen, lib. vi. c. 1, p. 1Ch 45: “ Paralipomenon græce dicitur, quod prætermissorum vel reliquorum nos dicere possumus,” etc.), by “omitted, overlooked in the other historical works,” sets forth in a striking manner the position taken by our author as the supplementer of the prophetical historians, and has therefore the advantage over the Hebrew denomination of greater definiteness, although it appears neither quite free from misapprehension nor adapted to the collective characteristics of our history.
Our work, moreover, forms, according to its original plan, as well as the oldest tradition, only one “book of annals” or supplements, for not only the old numeration of the books of the Old Testament in Josephus (c. Ap. i. 8), Origen (in Euseb. H. Eccl. vi. 25), and Jerome (Prolog. galeat.), according to which the canon consists of twenty-two books, but also the later computation made by Jerome and in the Talmud (Baba bathra, fol. 14), extending to twenty-four books, recognises only one book of Chronicles; and that the Masora regarded it as a single work is evident from the remark at the close of its text, that 1 Chronicles 27:25 forms the middle of the whole. The present general division (even in the recent Hebrew editions) into two books, springs from the Alexandrine translators and Jerome their follower, and may have been occasioned on their part by the existence of some great section or interval at the point of division, 1 Chronicles 29:29 f., in the majority of older Hebrew mss. This bipartition of the work (which even Melito of Sardis knew, Euseb. H. Eccl. iv. 26, as his list of the holy scriptures includes Παραλειπομένων δύο) cannot be regarded as unsuitable, since, apart from the almost equal length of the two parts, the end of the reign of David, on which the writer dwells with greater fulness than on that of any other king, presented a most fitting point of pause and division.
The identity of the close of the second book, 2 Chronicles 36:22 f., with the beginning of the book of Ezra, especially as the passage presents no truly satisfactory close for our work, raises the expectation that some connection exists between it and the latter book. In favour of this is farther the close affinity of the style of each, the mode of quoting the law common to both, as well as the decided preference of both for genealogical registers, statistical lists, and minute descriptions of acts of religion, in which also the same formulæ are not seldom used (see Remark). As no small part of these idioms belong also to the book of Nehemiah, the hypothesis is natural, that the three books, even if proceeding from different authors, have been subjected to a common revision by a later writer. This hypothesis is more probable than both the other attempts to solve the problem, namely, that either Chronicles and Ezra (Movers), or Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah (Zunz, Ew., Berth., Dillm., Davidson, etc.), originally formed a single work proceeding from one author. For in such unity of origin of the three works, their separation before the close of the canon into three or (in case of Ezra and Nehemiah having originally formed one work) into two books remains purely inexplicable. The author of such separation would have had no rational ground for retaining 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 at the same time as the close of the first and the opening of the second part. The double place of these verses leads much rather to a common redactor of the two writings than to an identity of author. The majority also of the already-mentioned common idioms, and other qualities, are sufficiently explained by the hypothesis, that the present very homogeneous form of the two, or at most three pieces, arises partly from having proceeded from the same circle of sacerdotal and Levitical views, endeavours, and learned researches, and partly from having gone through the hands of the same redactor. And even if one author of the two or three works must be affirmed, there can be as little doubt of the fact, that he conceived Chronicles as an independent and separate work, as of the independence and original distinctness of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, which are clearly separated from one another in the Hebrew text by the new superscription, Nehemiah 1:1. Comp. § 3. [There seems to be no reason why one author may not continue the work of another on the same plan and in a similar style.—J. G. M.]
Remark.—On the numerous verbal points of contact noticed by Pareau, Institutio interpr. V. T. p. 419,4 between Chronicles and Ezra, applying also in great part to the book of Nehemiah, see Movers, Krit. Untersuchungen, p. 17 f.; Hävernick, Einl. ii. 1, 269 ff., and especially Bertheau, Kurzgef. exeg. Handb., Einleit. p. 19 f. The latter recounts: a. a number of like grammatical inflections and constructions, namely, 1. The short way of subordinating relative clauses by placing them after a construct state (1Ch 29:3; 2 Chronicles 31:19; Ezra 1:5; Nehemiah 8:10); 2. The use of the infinitive with ל to express must or shall (1Ch 5:1; 1 Chronicles 9:25; 1 Chronicles 3:4; 1 Chronicles 25:2, etc.; 2 Chronicles 2:8; 2 Chronicles 8:13; 2 Chronicles 11:22, etc.; Ezra 4:3; Ezra 10:12; Nehemiah 8:13); 3. The extremely frequent use of the prep. ל, partly before the object as nota accusativi, partly after an accus. in continuation (1 Chronicles 28:1; 2 Chronicles 26:14; 2Ch 28:15; 2 Chronicles 33:8; Nehemiah 9:32), especially before כל to include all in enumerations (1 Chronicles 13:1; 2 Chronicles 5:12; Ezra 1:5; Ezra 7:28; Nehemiah 9:2), after the prep. עַד where in former usage the word subordinate to this followed immediately (1 Chronicles 28:7; 1Ch 28:20; 2 Chronicles 14:12; 2 Chronicles 16:12; 2Ch 16:14; 2 Chronicles 17:12, etc.; Ezra 3:13; Ezra 9:4; Ezra 9:6; Ezra 10:14) before the adverbial infin. הַרְבֵּה (2Ch 11:12; 2 Chronicles 16:8; Nehemiah 5:18); 4. The abundant use of prepositions in general, for example, in such phrases as עַד נֶגֶד Nehemiah 3:26; בְּפִתְאֹם 2 Chronicles 29:36; בְּיוֹמָם, Nehemiah 9:19; Nehemiah 5:0. The placing of the article before a verb for the pron. relat. (1Ch 26:28; 1 Chronicles 29:8; 1 Chronicles 29:17; 2Ch 29:36; 2 Chronicles 34:32; Ezra 8:25; Ezra 10:14; Ezra 10:17; Nehemiah 9:33). Moreover, Bertheau himself is obliged to acknowledge with regard to these constructions, that “they occur occasionally also in other books of the Old Testament, especially the later.” That they may be laid to the account of the idiom of one single author of the books compared, will be the less evident, because some of these constructions, as the quoted passages show, occur not more than once in any one of these writings, and therefore by no means belong to the prominent characteristics of their style.
b. On the contrary, single phrases quoted by him, or standing constructions of certain words, point somewhat more definitely to identity of authorship. Thus the construction עַמֵּי הָאֲרָצוֹת 2 Chronicles 13:9; Ezra 3:3; Ezra 9:1-2; Ezra 9:11; Nehemiah 9:30; Nehemiah 10:29 (comp. also מַלְכֵי הָאֲרָצוֹתEzr 9:7; ישְׁבֵי הָאֲר׳ 2 Chronicles 15:5; גּוֹיִיִ הָאֲר׳ 2 Chronicles 32:13; 2 Chronicles 32:17, etc.), הֵכִין לֵב 1Ch 29:18; 2 Chronicles 12:14; 2 Chronicles 19:3; 2Ch 20:33; 2 Chronicles 30:19; Ezra 7:10; הֵכִין in several other constructions; הִתְנַדֵּב “to offer freely at the temple,” 1 Chronicles 29:5-6; 1Ch 29:9; 1 Chronicles 29:14; 1 Chronicles 29:17; 2 Chronicles 17:16; Ezra 1:6; Ezra 2:68; Ezra 3:5 ff.; Nehemiah 11:2; בִּזָּה 2 Chronicles 14:13; 2 Chronicles 28:14; Ezra 9:7; Neh. 3:36; קִבֵּל, 1 Chronicles 12:18; 1Ch 21:11; 2 Chronicles 29:16; Ezra 8:30; מְלֶאכֶת בֵּית יְהוָֹה (or מ׳ ב׳ אֱלֹהִים1Ch 23:4; 1 Chronicles 26:30; Ezra 3:6; Ezra 6:22; Nehemiah 10:34; Nehemiah 11:22, etc. Yet all these phrases occur not exclusively in our books, but occasionally elsewhere (הִתְנַדֵּב, for example, in Judges 5:2; Judges 5:9; הָאֲרָצוֹת in several constructions also, 2 Kings 18:35, and often in Ezek.; בִּזָּה also in Esther and Daniel; קִבֵּל there also, and in Prov. and Job, etc.). Actual idioms of the books of Chron., Ezra, and Neh., from which their derivation from one author may seem to follow, are properly only such phrases as עַל עָמְדָם 2 Chronicles 30:16; 2 Chronicles 35:10; Nehemiah 8:7; Nehemiah 9:3; Nehemiah 13:11; חֶדְוָה 1 Chronicles 16:27; Nehemiah 8:10; Ezra 6:16; כְּפוֹר “basin,” 1 Chronicles 28:17; Ezra 1:10; Ezra 8:27; עַד לְמֵרָחוֹק, 2 Chronicles 26:15; Ezra 3:13 (comp. the other constructions with עַד לְ in 2 Chronicles 16:14; 2Ch 26:8; 2 Chronicles 36:16, etc.);מִתְוַדִּים in the plur., 2 Chronicles 30:22; Nehemiah 9:3; comp. Ezra 10:1; פְּלֻגָּה, of divisions of the Levites, 2 Chronicles 35:5; Ezra 6:18. To this may be added such phrases and formulae resting on the priestly and legal ideas and facts of these books, as בַּמִּשְׁפָּט, 1 Chronicles 23:31; 2 Chronicles 35:13; 2 Chronicles 30:16; Ezra 3:4; Nehemiah 8:18 (this phrase is peculiar to our books, while the synonymous כַּכּתוּב בַּתּוֹרָה occurs often in the older writings); הוֹרוּ וְהַלְּלוּ לַיְהוָֹה, 1 Chronicles 16:4; 1 Chronicles 23:30; 1 Chronicles 25:3, etc.; Ezra 3:11; likewise the liturgical form לְהוֹדוֹת וּלְהַלֵּל and “for He is good, for His grace endureth for ever,” 1 Chronicles 16:34; 1 Chronicles 16:41;2 Chronicles 5:13; Ezra 3:11; not less the standing phrases in describing festivals, בּשִׂמְחָה, (1 Chronicles 12:40; 1 Chronicles 29:9; 1Ch 29:17; 2 Chronicles 15:15; 2 Chronicles 20:27; 2Ch 29:30; 2 Chronicles 29:36; Ezra 3:12) and עַל־יְדֵי דָוִיר (1Ch 25:2; 1 Chronicles 25:6; 2 Chronicles 23:18; 2 Chronicles 29:27; Ezra 3:10); lastly, the official names of certain temple ministers and sacred musicians found only in our books, especially הַמְּשׁוֹרְרִים ,נְתִינִים and מְצִלְתַּיִם. If we add to these common properties, extending even to literal agreement in expression, the preference in these three writings for genealogies and lists of officers and the like (comp. 1 Chronicles 1:9 Ezra 3:0; Ezra 7:1-5; Ezra 8:0; Ezra 10:20 ff.; Nehemiah 7:6 ff; Nehemiah 10:1 ff; Nehemiah 11:12 :), as well as the great prominence of the temple musicians and porters as an institution mentioned with peculiar interest (1 Chronicles 6:16 ff; 1 Chronicles 9:14 ff; 1 Chronicles 15:16 ff; 1Ch 16:4 ff; 1 Chronicles 23:5; 1 Chronicles 25:1 ff; 1 Chronicles 26:12 ff.; 2Ch 5:12 ff; 2 Chronicles 8:14 ff; 2 Chronicles 23:13 ff; 2 Chronicles 31:11 ff; 2 Chronicles 34:12 f., 2 Chronicles 35:15; Ezra 2:42; Ezra 2:70; Ezra 3:10 f., Ezra 7:7; Ezra 10:24; Nehemiah 7:1; Nehemiah 7:45; Nehemiah 10:29; Nehemiah 11:17 ff; Nehemiah 12:24 ff; Nehemiah 13:5), there grows up a certain probability for the presumption of one author for the three writings in question. But this presumption cannot be regarded as “altogether established” and “fully demonstrated” (Bertheau, p. 20). The great majority of the coincidences adduced are sufficiently explained by supposing a plurality of authors, nearly of the same date, inspired by a like Levitico-sacerdotal interest and impulse, drawing from the like sources, of whom the last, in order to produce a uniform edition of these similar historical works, submitted his two predecessors to a common revision. Comp. on the other hand, Keil (Comment, p. 15 ff.), who, however, certainly derives at least two of the works in question, Chronicles and Ezra, from one author; and, on the other hand, Bleek, Einleit. ins A. T. (2d edit. § 171, p. 404), who, coming nearer the truth, claims distinct authors for the three books, but regards the author of Chronicles as the last writer and the redactor of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. The question not immediately affecting our problem, whether the books of Ezra and Nehemiah are to be regarded as forming originally one work, or as independent productions of different authors, will have to be incidentally treated in the following investigation concerning the author of our book and the time of its composition.
[The arguments from the above phenomena for a redaction of these books are not convincing. An author writing in the language of the people, especially in the East, will use and repeat the current phrases of his day. The rise of new habits, objects, and acts will demand new words and constructions for their expression. These two circumstances are nearly sufficient to account for all the diversities and identities that have been noted, without having recourse to the hypothesis of one author or one redactor. A familiarity with the previous authors of the Old Testament will probably balance the account.—J. G. M.]
§ 3. Author, And Time Of Composition
As Chronicles at its close mentions the edict of Cyrus permitting the return of the Jews from the Babylonish exile (2 Chronicles 36:22 f.), and in 1 Chronicles 3:19-24 it traces the descendants of Zerubbabel through six generations (see the exposition of the passage and Remark at the end of the section), it cannot have been composed, or at least put in its present form, before the time of Zerubbabel, or for a considerable time after Ezra. With an average of thirty years for each of the generations after Zerubbabel, the last, consisting of the seven sons of Elioenai, must be supposed to flourish after the year 350 b.c. The last decade of the Persian monarchy, if not the beginning of the Grecian period, is, moreover, indicated by several other circumstances, among which are the following:—
a. The computation employed in 1 Chronicles 29:7 (in the history of David) by Dariks, אֲדַרְכֹּנִים, a Persian gold coin, occurring also in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah,—that, whether first stamped under Darius Hystaspis or not, refers the time of the composition of the work to the Persian sway over the Jews, or even some time after it;5
b. The name בִּירָה, castle, likewise indicating the Persian period, designates the temple as a magnificent building (1 Chronicles 29:1; 1 Chronicles 29:19),—a term only occurring elsewhere in the books of Esther and Nehemiah, which there designates either the palace of the Persian monarch (Esther 1:2; Esther 1:5; Esther 2:3; Esther 2:8; Nehemiah 1:1), or the castle near the temple of Jerusalem, the later Βᾶρις (Nehemiah 2:8; Nehemiah 7:2);
c. The orthography and Chaldaizing style betraying a pretty late age (comp. Remark on § 2);
d. The position of the work in the canon as the last of the Hagiographa, and thus after the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, to which it would scarcely have been subjoined by the collectors, if any certain knowledge of its composition before or even contemporary with them had existed in Jewish tradition;
e. The circumstance that the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, for which, on account of the already adduced verbal and other coincidences with our books, an almost identical date of composition must be asserted, must have been already written a considerable time after their heroes and traditional authors, as the proper memoirs of Ezra and Nehemiah were used as sources in them,—the age of these men (Nehemiah 12:26; Nehemiah 12:47) is represented as already in the distant past; and, moreover, lists of the chiefs of the Levites (Nehemiah 12:23) and of the high priests (Nehemiah 12:10 ff.) are given therein, that extend down to Jaddua, the holder of the high priest’s office in the time of Alexander the Great. That this Jaddua, according to Josephus (Antiq. xi. 8), high priest during the last years of the Persian Empire, as well as under Alexander, was a contemporary of the author of the book of Nehemiah, appears in fact very probable, according to the twelfth chapter of the book. Yet Ewald and Bertheau have gone too far, when they infer, from the manner in which both in Ezra and Nehemiah Cyrus and his successors are constantly mentioned as Persian kings (Ezra 1:1; Ezra 4:5; comp. 1Ch 4:7, 1 Chronicles 6:1, etc.), that the Grecian monarchy had already commenced. The author might consider it suitable to give prominence to the Persian nationality of these kings, in contrast with the former kings of Judah. And all else that, after Spinoza, has been urged by de Wette, Berthold, Gramberg, and others (recently again by Nöldecke, Die alttestamentl. Literal., 1868, p. 63 f.), for the origin of the book under the Macedonic or the Seleucidic government, amounts only to hypercritical conjectures (comp. Keil, Apolog. Versuch, p. 17 ff.; Hävernick, Einl. ii. 274 ff.).
If our book appears from the above considerations, especially those adduced under c–e, to belong to a time falling after Ezra and Nehemiah, it is impossible for Ezra himself to be the author. The Talmud, indeed, regarded him as the common originator of the book called after him and of Chronicles (Baba bathr. fol. 15, 1 Chronicles 1:0 : Esra scripsit librum suum et genealogiam in libro Chronicorum usque ad se), in which it was followed by most Rabbins, some Fathers, as Theodoret, and later theologians, as Carpzov, Heidegger, Pareau, Starke, Lange, Eichhorn (Einl. iii. 597 ff.), Hävernick, Welte, Keil (Apolog. Versuch, p. 144 ff., Einl p. 497; comp. Comment p. 14), and Jul. Fürst (Gesch. der bibl. Lit. ii. 210, 537 ff.), and others. But he can no more have written the book of Chronicles than the book of Ezra itself. Both belong notoriously to a later age; and in view of their manifold internal and external connection, the hypothesis of Movers, that a writer living some centuries after Ezra wrote both works as a continuous whole, though afterwards separated (Mov. Krit. Unters. p. 14 ff.), would commend itself, were it not necessary to take into account the relation of the book of Nehemiah to both, and to admit some sort of connection among the three books. To show that this consists in being derived from the same author has been attempted by Zunz (Gottesdienstl. Vortrage der Juden, Berlin 1832, p. 18 ff.), Ewald (Gesch. des v. Isr. i. p. 264, 2d edit.), Bertheau (Kurzgef. exeg. Handb., Einl. p. 15), Graf (Die geschichtl. Bächer des A. T. p. 114 ff.), Dillmann (in Herzog’s Real-Encycl., Art. “Chronik”), Davidson (Introd. to the Old Test. ii. p. 115 sq.). They have regarded the books of Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah as three constituent parts of a single historical work, composed in the end of the Persian or the opening of the Grecian period. But against this are the following considerations:—
1. The identity of Ezra 1:1-3 with 2 Chronicles 36:22 f., which is more easily understood if we regard it as the work of a redactor who wished to show the second of the two originally separate works to be a kind of continuation of the first, than if we suppose that the narrative originally proceeded from 2 Chronicles 36:23 to Ezra 1:4, and then, after rending the two books asunder, the opening words of the second concerning the edict of Cyrus were repeated at the close of the first. Comp. Keil, Comm. p. 14 f.: “For such a separation with an addition there seems to be no ground, especially as the edict of Cyrus must be repeated. The introduction of this edict with the words, ‘And in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, etc.,’ is so closely connected with the close of the description of the destruction of Jerusalem and the carrying away of Judah to Babylon, ‘and they were servants to him (King Nebuchadnezzar) and his sons until the reign of the Persians, to fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah ... to fulfil seventy years,’ 2 Chronicles 36:20 f., that the edict of Cyrus cannot be separated from the foregoing; much rather must the same author, who wrote 2 Chronicles 36:20-21, and represented the seventy years of exile as the fulfilment of Jeremiah’s prophecy, have also mentioned the edict of Cyrus, and connected it with this prophecy. This connection of the edict with that prophecy furnishes an incontrovertible proof that the verses containing the edict form an integral part of Chronicles.” On the whole, the supposition of a supplementary separation of a history originally forming one whole is attended with serious difficulties; and neither the apparently somewhat abrupt close of Chronicles, as it now stands (with וְיָעַל “And let him go up”), nor the circumstance that the opening words of Ezra, though verbally coinciding in general with the closing words of Chronicles, yet differ from them in some particulars (namely, for בְּפִי of 2 Chronicles 36:22, מִפִּי and for יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהָיו עִמּוֹ of 2 Chronicles 36:23, יְהִי אל׳ ע׳), can be satisfactorily reconciled with the hypothesis of separation, both phenomena agreeing better with the supposition, that the conforming hand of a later redactor had established a coincidence in the main between two passages that were originally somewhat different.
2. The plan, also, of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, clearly aiming at the presentation of contemporary or very recent history, speaks against the hypothesis of their original immediate connection with the book of Chronicles. Whatever there is in the plan of this work, or in the position of the writer, with respect to the sources used by him resembling the historiographic method of the other two books, is easily explained by supposing the authors to be guided in general by the same views, and to write in the same, or nearly the same times.
3. And as neither these merely subordinate resemblances of plan and form, nor the already mentioned verbal and orthographical coincidences, suffice to disprove the independent character of the three works, neither can the circumstance, that the author of the apocryphal third book of Ezra, from the way in which he strings together 2 Chronicles 36:21 and Ezra 1:1, seems not to have been acquainted with the separation of Chronicles from Ezra, nor the phenomenon parallel to this circumstance, that the Talmud, the Masora, and the ancient Christian Church count the books of Ezra and Nehemiah generally as one book. At the ground of this latter phenomenon obviously lies the Jewish endeavour not to let the number of the books of the Old Testament exceed that of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet (Origen in Euseb. H. Eccl. vi. 25; Jerome, Prol. gal.; Talmud, Baba bathr., in Buxtorf, Tiberias, c. xi. p. 108 sqq.),—an endeavour from which the oldest Church Fathers, in their lists of the canonical Scriptures of the Old Testament, were not free, and of which the circumstance that two of the oldest MSS. of the Septuagint, the cod. Alexandrinus and the Friderico-Augustanus, separate the book of Nehemiah by no interval from that of Ezra (comp. Tischendorf’s Vetus Testamentum juxta LXX. Interpretes, edit. iv. 1869, T. I. p. 611), must be regarded as a later effect.
If, according to all this, the connection of these three books is not to be viewed as a unity, forbidding their original independent existence, and if, notwithstanding all traces of an almost contemporary origin, no common author needs to be assumed for them, nothing is more natural than to regard one of the two or three supposed authors as the originator of that redactional conformation on which the present affinity and mutual relation of the three books, so far as it betrays the hand of a literary reviser, depends. And in all probability this redactor was the author of Chronicles, as a compilation presupposing the existence of the other two, and adapting itself to them. The already extant works concerning Ezra and Nehemiah, proceeding perhaps from the younger contemporaries of these men, may have served as the occasion and impulse to this writer to present the previous history of God’s people in a like spirit of Levitical, priestly pragmatism, and in a similar annalistic method, and so to project his review of the progress of the kingdom of God from Adam to the end of the exile, running parallel with the earlier historical books, which he partly supplements and partly abstracts. That he prefixed the closing verses of this work as an introduction to its sequel the book of Ezra, to mark externally the connection of the two works, must be considered more probable from the above remarks, than the reverse hypothesis of Bleek, that “he brought over the first verses of that work (Ezra) as the close of this latter.” Comp. throughout Bleek, Einl. § 171, p. 404 f., with whose representation of the origin of our three works we only differ on this subordinate point, while we must regard it otherwise as the most satisfactory solution of the present question.
Concerning the person of this author of Chronicles and final redactor of Ezra and Nehemiah, who belonged to the last years of the Persian dynasty, only this can be established, that he must have belonged to the Levites of the second temple, and in particular to the singers or song-masters, in whom he takes a special interest, as the constant putting of them forward (as also the porters) along with priests and Levites in many parts of his work shows; see above, § 2, Remark, p. 6. When Keil (Comment. p. 17 ff.) urges against this hypothesis the fact, that “in all places where he speaks of musicians and porters we also find the priests mentioned,” sufficient attention is not paid to the fact, that this express mention of such inferior officers as singers and musicians, along with the priests and other officials of the temple, implies a special interest in them on the part of the author. Certainly the porter is often mentioned in the same places; but the interest of the narrator in the musicians and their doings (into which he often enters minutely, while he only mentions the porters by the way) plainly outweighs everything else. And nothing is obviously deducted from the authority and credibility of our writer, if we think of him as an Asaph of the later sanctuary, though his identification with Ezra the priest becomes thereby impossible.
Remark.—The difficult passage 1 Chronicles 3:19-24, the full elucidation of which we must reserve for the commentary itself, names from Hananiah, the son of Zerubbabel, five other generations, represented by Shechaniah, Shemaiah, Neariah, Elioenai, and Hodaiah, the last of which generations, Hodaiah with his six brothers, which appears to be nearly contemporary with the author of our work, can scarcely, even if we reckon a generation at 30 years, have flourished before 350 or 340 b.c. To this date points also another note contained in 1 Chronicles 3:22. The Hattush here mentioned as great-grandson of Zerubbabel, is perhaps the same Hattush mentioned, Ezra 8:2, as a descendant of David, and as brought under Ezra from Babylon to Judea. Now, as in 1 Chronicles 3:22-23 the grandsons of Neariah, a younger brother of this Hattush, are mentioned, we shall thus be carried down beyond the year 400, as the earliest possible time of the drawing up of this genealogy; and the omission of some intervening members after Hattush would carry it down considerably later. These chronological combinations taken from 1 Chronicles 3:19 ff. may not appear absolutely certain and indisputable, as the Hattush of Ezra might possibly be different from that of our passage (comp. Keil, Einl. p. 496), and as, especially in 1 Chronicles 3:21, where all connection of the בְּנֵי רְפָיָה with the foregoing is wanting, the suspicion (uttered by Vitringa, Heidegger, Carpzov, etc.) of corruption, or the supposition that a fragment of some other genealogy has crept into the text (Hävern., Movers, Keil, etc.), appears sufficiently plausible. Notwithstanding this uncertainty and partial obscurity of the passage, the opinion expressed is probable enough; and the more so, the more clearly the other considerations (under c–e) above mentioned point to a still later time than that of Ezra and Nehemiah.
[The data presented by the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles, prove, at most, that a touching hand was applied to them after the lifetime of Ezra and Nehemiah, simply adding a few names to a list or pedigree. But this comes far short of proving that these works were not produced by Ezra and Nehemiah, the authors to whom they are usually assigned. To give even plausibility to this negative conclusion, it is necessary to apply our modern notions or habits of composition to the men of ancient times, before printing was invented, or the rules of literature determined. There is great risk of mistake in taking this important step, as the modern man of letters is liable to carry up into those primitive days his own subjective views, and make a world of ancient literature after the fashion of the nineteenth century. To infer, for instance, that a work was not composed till the last person now named in it had lived and flourished, may seem legitimate. Yet it is not necessarily true even of modern works, as names and facts may be added by an editor or continuator. Still less can it be affirmed of ancient works antecedent to printing, especially when they are of national importance, and under the care of men competent and authorized to make such trifling additions as are supposed by some to discredit the authorship of Ezra and Nehemiah.—J. G. M.]
§ 4. Matter, Plan, And Object Of The Work
In regard to matter, Chronicles falls, as already stated, into two main divisions—a shorter genealogical, 1 Chronicles 1:1-9, and a longer historical one. If we take into account the several groups of genealogical and historical material that exist within these main parts, the following detailed scheme of contents results:—
I. Genealogical tables or registers, with brief historical data, 1 Chronicles 1-9.
a. Genealogies of the patriarchs from Adam to Israel and Edom, with the descendants of the latter till the era of kings, 1 Chronicles 1:0.
b. The sons of Israel and the generations of Judah till David, with David’s posterity till Elioenai and his seven sons, 1 Chronicles 2:1 to 1 Chronicles 4:23.
c. The generations of Simeon, and the transjordanic tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half-Manasseh, till the deportation of the latter by the Assyrians, 1 Chronicles 4:24 to 1 Chronicles 5:26.
d. The generations of the Levites, with a statement of their cities in the different tribes, 1 Chron. 5:27–6:81.
e. The generations of the remaining tribes, except Dan and Zebulun, and in particular, of the Benjamite house of Saul, 1 Chronicles 7:8.
f. The inhabitants of Jerusalem till the period of kings, with the genealogy of Saul repeated, forming the transition to the history of David, 1 Chronicles 9:0.
II. History of the kings in Jerusalem from David to the exile.
1. David, 1 Chronicles 10-29.
a. Introduction; the fall of the house of Saul, 1 Chronicles 10:0.
b. David’s elevation to the throne; arrangement of his residence at Jerusalem; wars and enumeration of the people, 1 Chronicles 11-21.
[Removal from Hebron to Jerusalem, 1 Chronicles 11:1-9; the heroes and worthies of David, 1 Chronicles 11:10-12; preparation for removing the ark to Jerusalem, 1 Chronicles 13:0; David’s housebuilding, family, and wars with the Philistines, 1 Chronicles 14:0; the solemn conveyance of the ark, 1 Chronicles 15:16; David’s purpose to build a temple to the Lord, 1 Chronicles 17:0; his wars, 1 Chronicles 18-20; the numbering of the people, with the plague; determination of the place for the future temple, 1 Chronicles 21:0.]
c. David’s arrangements concerning the temple; other spiritual and temporal regulations; last will and death, 1 Chronicles 22-29.
[Provisions for the temple, 1 Chronicles 22:0; division of the Levites and priests, and order of their service, 1 Chronicles 23-26; division of the war officers, and order of the service, 1 Chronicles 27:0; last directions concerning the transfer of the government to Solomon, and end of David, 1 Chronicles 28, 29.]
2. Solomon, 2 Chronicles 1-9.
a. His solemn sacrifice at Gibeon, and his riches, , 2 Chronicles 1:0.
b. The building and consecration of the temple, , 2 Chronicles 2-7.
c. Solomon’s building of cities, and serfs; religious ordinances; navigation to Ophir; intercourse with the queen of Sheba; glory; length of reign, and end, , 2 Chronicles 8:9.
3. The kings of Judah, from Rehoboam to Zedekiah, , 2 Chronicles 10-36.
a. Rehoboam; the prophet Shemaiah, , 2 Chronicles 10-12.
b. Abijah, , 2 Chronicles 13:0.
c. Asa; the prophets Azariah son of Obed, and Hanani, , 2 Chronicles 14-16.
d. Jehoshaphat; the prophets Micah son of Imlah, Jehu son of Hanani, etc., , 2 Chronicles 17-20.
e. Joram; letter of the prophet Elijah, , 2 Chronicles 21:0.
f. Ahaziah, , 2 Chronicles 22:1-9.
g. Athaliah, , 2 Chronicles 22:10-12.
h. Joash; the prophet Zechariah, son of Jehoiada, , 2 Chronicles 24:0.
i. Amaziah, , 2 Chronicles 25:0.
k. Uzziah, , 2 Chronicles 26:0.
l. Jotham, 2 Chronicles 27:0.
m. Ahaz; the prophet Oded, , 2 Chronicles 28:0.
n. Hezekiah; the prophet Isaiah, , 2 Chronicles 29-32.
o. Manasseh and Amon, , 2 Chronicles 33:0.
p. Josiah; the prophetess Huldah, , 2 Chronicles 34, 35.
q. Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, Zedekiah; close, , 2 Chronicles 36:0.
From this survey of contents, the following points appear characteristic for the standpoint and plan of our historian:—
1. The taking up of the kingdom of David as a moment in the history of the tribe and state of Judah, with the corresponding retreat of the genealogy and history of the northern tribes (of which Dan and Zebulun are not even mentioned; Issachar, Naphtali, Asher, and half-Manasseh are only briefly noticed), and especially of the reigns of Saul and Ishbosheth, at the same time with the total omission of Jeroboam and his successors, which determines that of the prophets of the northern kingdom, and thus the action of Elijah, Elisha, etc.
2. The prominence given to the tribe of Levi, its ordinances and divisions, offices and functions,—a moment appearing with characteristic force as well in the genealogical portion (1 Chron. 5:27–6:66) as in the history of David (1 Chronicles 23-26), of Solomon and his temple-consecration (2 Chronicles 5 ff.), of Rehoboam, Asa, Joash, Hezekiah, and Josiah.
3. The preference for reporting genealogical series, which goes so far, that one list of this kind is unnecessarily repeated (that of the house of Saul, 1 Chronicles 8:29 ff.; comp. with 1 Chronicles 9:35 ff.); and in the history of David, a register of his heroes, worthies, and offices, is inserted several times in apparently improper places (thus 1 Chronicles 12:0, the list of the heroes adhering to him during his persecution by Saul, that of his worthies who raised him to the throne in Hebron, and 27, the summary of his forces, princes, and officers, for which a more suitable place would have been 1 Chronicles 18:12 ff.).
4. The visible inclination to dwell on the glorious periods of the theocracy and the theocratic worship, and by depicting such bright seasons, and treating as briefly as possible the contrary times of darkness and superstition, to display conspicuously the full blessing of preserving pure the national religion of Jehovah and the legitimate temple-service: on which account, such reigns as those of David, Solomon, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Hezekiah, and Josiah, are depicted with peculiar delight; while the last days of Solomon, the rule of Ahaziah and Athaliah, and that of the last kings before the exile, are despatched with comparative brevity, or entirely omitted, like the whole history of the kingdom of Ephraim.
The above-mentioned moments appear still more clearly as favourite points of history and fundamental peculiarities of our historian, if we compare the course of his historical representation with that of the parallel historical books, especially the books of Samuel and Kings. Characteristic for the time before the kings is his endeavour, by suitable abbreviations of the genealogical sections of Genesis, to give the clearest possible view of the descent of the house of David from the antediluvian patriarchs; comp. 2 Chronicles 1:1-4 as an abridgment of Genesis 1:5-23 as a corresponding abbreviation of Genesis 10:0; 1 Chronicles 1:24-27 as contracted from Genesis 11:10-26; 1 Chronicles 1:29-33 as recapitulated from Genesis 25:1-15; 1 Chronicles 1:35-54 as recapitulated from Genesis 36:10-43; 1 Chronicles 2:1-5 as a summary of the list of Jacob’s sons (especially those of Perez) in Genesis 46:8-12; also 1 Chronicles 2:10-12 (list of the descendants of Ram to Jesse) with Ruth 4:19-22; and in particular, the list of the Levitical cities, 1 Chronicles 6:39-66, with Joshua 21:10-39. There is throughout, as these parallels show, an endeavour aiming at the exaltation of the Davidic sovereignty as the brightest point of the history of God’s people before the exile, by which the author has been guided in the genealogical preface to his history. For the history of David are equally significant, both that which is omitted of the books of Samuel, and that which is added as a supplement. He has here omitted most of the facts concerning the relation of David to Saul and his house (in particular the reign of Ishbosheth, 2 Samuel 1:1 to 2 Samuel 4:9); nearly all the events of David’s private life, especially those less favourable to his call, as the scene with Michal (2 Samuel 6:20-23); the adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:12); the dishonour of Tamar by Amnon; Amnon’s death by Absalom, and Absalom’s rebellion, with its consequences (2 Samuel 13-19); the revolt of Sheba (2 Samuel 20:0); the delivery of some descendants of Saul to the Gibeonites for execution (2 Samuel 21:1-14); David’s thanksgiving song and last words (2 Samuel 22:0; 2 Samuel 23:1-7); Adonijah’s attempt at usurpation, and the thereby hastened anointing of Solomon (1 Kings 1:0); lastly, David’s last will regarding Joab, the sons of Barzillai, and Shimei (1 Kings 2:1-9). On the contrary, he has supplemented the account of the older historians by his list of the brave men from all tribes who joined David during the persecution of Saul, and the warriors who made him king in Hebron (1 Chronicles 12:0), by his account of the part taken by the Levites in the conveyance of the ark (1 Chronicles 15:16), his long descriptions of David’s preparations for the building of the temple (1 Chronicles 22:0), his no less full statistical description of the priests and Levites, and the military and civil officers under David (1 Chronicles 23-27), and his account of the arrangements made by David shortly before his death in a great assembly of the people (1 Chronicles 28, 29). It is not less characteristic, that the author has omitted in Solomon’s history a number of facts which refer to the private life of this king, and are partly unfavourable to his character, as the punishment of Joab, Shimei, and Adonijah (1 Kings 2:13-46), the marriage with Pharaoh’s daughter (1 Kings 3:1-3), the wise judgment of the king, and the full picture of his glory and wisdom (1 Kings 3:16 to 1 Kings 5:1), his palace (1 Kings 7:1-12), his polygamy and idolatry, with the consequences following as a divine judgment (1 Kings 11:1-40), while he reports all that relates to the building and consecration of the temple, the building of cities, bond-service, trade with Ophir, etc., at equal, if not greater length, than in the books of Kings. Lastly, in the period from Solomon to the exile, lie significantly omits the whole history of the ten tribes, their kings and prophets, with the sole exception of the friendly or hostile relations in which they stood to the kingdom of Judah (to which belongs also the letter of Elijah given in 2 Chronicles 21:12 ff.). On the contrary, regarding the kingdom of Judah in this period, a whole series of supplementary accounts are given, especially such as serve to glorify the theocratically-disposed sovereigns of this kingdom, but others also that exhibit along with these bright places darker shadows of the apostasy and the resulting national misfortune; as accounts of Rehoboam’s cities of defence, reception of the Levites driven from the northern kingdom, and family connections (2 Chronicles 11:5-23); of Abijah’s war with Jeroboam, his wives and children (2 Chronicles 13:3-21); of Asa’s victory over the Kushite Zerah, and the action of the prophets Azariah and Hanani under this king (2 Chronicles 14:3-15; 2 Chronicles 15:1-15; 2 Chronicles 16:7-10); of Jehoshaphat’s internal and external administration, and his great victory over the allied Ammonites, Moabites, and others (2 Chronicles 17-20.); of Joram’s fratricide, idolatrous reign, and punishment (2 Chronicles 21:2-4; 2 Chronicles 21:11-19); of Joash’s final fall into idolatry after the death of Jehoiada (2 Chronicles 24:15-22); of Amaziah’s increase of his army and idolatry (2 Chronicles 25:5-10; 2 Chronicles 25:14-16); of Uzziah’s successful war with the Philistines and Arabians, his fortifications and his troops (2 Chronicles 26:6-15); of Jotham’s fortifications and victory over the Ammonites (2 Chronicles 27:4-6); of the theocratic reforms of Hezekiah, his Passover, and the abundance of his treasures (2 Chronicles 29:3-31; 2 Chronicles 32:27-30); of Manasseh’s removal to Babylon, repentance, and return from captivity (2 Chronicles 33:11-17); of Josiah’s Passover, and the part taken in it by the priests and Levites (2 Chronicles 35:2-19).
The author has no very fixed principle in making his abbreviations and additions; otherwise, notwithstanding his theocratic tendencies, he would have imparted some traces of David’s family history, and along with the building of the temple and the cities, would have noticed that of Solomon’s palace (1 Kings 7:1-12); he would perhaps have been silent on the idolatry of Joash and Amaziah, as well as of Solomon, and have dwelt longer on the bright point of the Jewish monarchy in the reign of Josiah; and if it concerned him to bring out the dark shadow of apostasy with the light spots of this later period, he might have given a fuller account of the idolatrous reign of Ahaz, and of the misgovernment of the last kings, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, Zedekiah, etc. The inconsistency indicated by a dim perception of his design, and a want of thorough pragmatism, rests undoubtedly on the nature of his sources, the disproportion in the matter of which must have produced a similar defect in himself, and prevented him from exhibiting a uniform whole resulting from a single casting. On the whole, however, the correctness of our remarks on the prevailing tendency of the author is not prejudiced by these anomalies. It is indubitable, from his priestly-Levitical standpoint, that he wished in general to relate the theocratic civil and religious history of the Jews from David with a chief regard to their bright periods, and a recognition of their times of apostasy being invariably attended with divine judgments, and to hold up to his contemporaries a mirror encouraging them to fear God, and warning them against unfaithfulness to the Lord. Otherwise than the author of the books of Kings, who relates the events more objectively in their natural order, “our author places the facts and occurrences in connection with the conduct of the prince and the people toward the Lord, and endeavours so to illustrate the historical facts, that they teach how God rewards the faithful with peace and blessing, and visits the revolt from His covenant with penal judgments. The narrative thus acquires a parenetic character that often rises to the rhetorical manner. This parenetico-rhetorical stamp of his work meets us not only in the many speeches of the agents, but also in many historical delineations (for example, in Joram, 2 Chronicles 21:0; in Ahaz, 28.; in Manasseh, 33.; and in Zedekiah, 36:12–21). From this parenetic tendency, and the reflective mode of viewing history, is explained the greater part of his deviations from the parallel accounts in Samuel and Kings, as well the omission of collateral circumstances as the pictorial descriptions of religious regulations and festivals, the manifest object of which is to awaken in the mind of the reader delight and joy in the attractive services of the Lord, and to confirm the heart in fidelity to the Lord and His law” (Keil, Comment, p. 11). On account of this property, directed with special preference to the worship and the officers of worship, this history has been designated as specially Levitical,—a designation which is only suitable and free from misconception, when we bear in mind that it is not the Levites as such, but as the ministers of the lawful theocratic worship, the source of all salvation and blessing for the people of God, to whom the author devotes his special attention. “The Chronist wishes, not to glorify the Levites and the Levitical worship, but rather to lead the proof, from the history of the kingdom in Israel, that faithfulness to the covenant which the Lord has made with Israel brings happiness and blessing; neglect of it, misery and perdition. But Israel shows fidelity in walking after the standard of the law given by Moses, when he worships Jehovah the God of his fathers in His sanctuary, as He has appointed in the ordinances of worship. The author lays stress on the Levitical worship only so far as the faithfulness of Israel shows itself in its careful observance” (Keil, Comm. p. 8).
Remark.—The forty or more parallel sections which the part of Chronicles, common with the books of Samuel and Kings, presents, now in longer, now in shorter form, and now in corresponding, now in deviating sequence, are exhibited in the following table (from Keil, Einl. p. 479; comp. Davidson, Introd. p. 81 sq., and Tübingen Theolog. Quartalschr. 1831, p. 209 ff.):—
1 Chronicles 10:1-12, 1 Samuel 31:0.
1 Chronicles 11:1-9, 2Sa 5:1-3; 2 Samuel 5:6-10.
1 Chronicles 11:10-47, 2 Samuel 23:8-39.
1 Chronicles 13:1-14, 2 Samuel 6:1-11.
1 Chronicles 14:1-17, 2 Samuel 5:11-25.
1 Chronicles 15:16 2 Samuel 6:12-23.
2 Samuel 7:0
2 Samuel 8:0
2 Samuel 10:0
1 Chronicles 20:1-3, 2Sa 11:1; 2 Samuel 12:26-31.
1 Chronicles 20:4-8, 2 Samuel 21:18-22.
2 Samuel 24:0
2 Chronicles 1:2-13, 1 Kings 3:4-15.
2 Chronicles 1:14-17, 1 Kings 10:26-29.
2 Chronicles 2:0, 1 Kings 5:15-18.
2 Chronicles 3:1 to 2 Chronicles 5:1, 2 Chronicles 5:1 Kings 6; 1 Kings 7:13-51.
2 Chronicles 5:2 to 2 Chronicles 7:10, 1 Kings 8:0
2 Chronicles 7:11-22, 1 Kings 9:1-9.
2 Chronicles 8:0, 1 Kings 9:10-28.
2 Chronicles 9:1-28, 1 Kings 10:1-29.
2 Chronicles 9:29-31, 1 Kings 11:41-43.
2 Chronicles 10:1 to 2 Chronicles 11:4, 1 Kings 12:1-24.
2 Chronicles 12:2-3; 2 Chronicles 12:9-16, 1 Kings 14:21-31.
2 Chronicles 13:1-2; 2 Chronicles 13:22, 1 Kings 15:1-2; 1 Kings 15:6-8.
2 Chronicles 14:1-2; 2 Chronicles 15:16-19, 1 Kings 15:11-16.
2 Chronicles 16:1-6; 2 Chronicles 16:11-14, 1 Kings 15:17-24.
2 Chronicles 18:2-34, 1 Kings 22:2-35.
2 Chronicles 20:31 to 2 Chronicles 21:1, 1 Kings 22:41-51.
2 Chronicles 21:5-10; 2 Chronicles 21:20, 2 Kings 8:17-24.
2 Chronicles 22:1-9, 2 Kings 8:25-29; 2 Kings 9:16-28; 2 Kings 10:12-14.
2 Chronicles 22:10 to 2 Chronicles 23:21, 2 Kings 11:0.
2 Chronicles 24:1-14; 2 Chronicles 24:23-27, 2 Kings 12:1-21.
2 Chronicles 25:1-4; 2 Chronicles 25:11; 2 Chronicles 25:17-28, 2Ki 14:1-14; 2 Kings 14:17-20.
2 Chronicles 26:1-4; 2 Chronicles 26:21-23, 2 Kings 14:21-22; 2 Kings 15:2-7.
2 Chronicles 27:1-3; 2 Chronicles 27:7-9, 2 Kings 15:33-36; 2 Kings 15:38.
2 Chronicles 28:1-4; 2 Chronicles 28:26-27, 2 Kings 16:2-4; 2 Kings 16:19-20.
2 Chronicles 29:1-2, 2 Kings 18:2-3.
2 Chronicles 32:1-21, 2 Kings 18:13 to 2 Kings 19:37.
2Ch 32:24-25; 2 Chronicles 32:32-33, 2Ki 20:1-2; 2 Kings 20:20-21.
2 Chronicles 33:1-10; 2 Chronicles 33:20-25, 2 Kings 21:1-9; 2 Kings 21:18-24.
2 Chronicles 34:1-2; 2 Chronicles 34:8-32, 2 Kings 22:0; 2 Kings 23:1-3.
2 Chronicles 35:1; 2 Chronicles 35:18-24; 2 Chronicles 35:26-27; 2 Chronicles 36:1-4, 2 Kings 23:21-23; 2 Kings 23:28-34.
2 Chronicles 36:5-6; 2 Chronicles 36:8-12, 2 Kings 23:36-37; 2 Kings 24:1; 2Ki 24:5-6; 2 Kings 24:8-19.
2 Chronicles 36:22-23, Ezra 1:1-2.
The value of this table of parallel passages consists in this, that it not only exhibits the mutual relation of the sections, showing now an extension, now an abridgment, on the part of our author, but also indicates where deviations in the order of the several events take place. For in the order of his materials the Chronist by no means agrees throughout with the books of Samuel and Kings; as he, in 1 Chronicles 11:10-47, takes a list of David’s heroes from 2 Samuel 23:8-39, and attaches it to events which are parallel with 2 Samuel 5:0, and the account in 2 Samuel 5:0 he does not reproduce continuo, but takes beforehand the section 2 Samuel 6:1-11 (see 1 Chronicles 13:1-14), as he farther places the history of David’s numbering of the people, and of the plague, 2 Samuel 24:0, not quite at the end of the section belonging to David, but subjoins to it accounts of David’s provision for the building of the temple, as well as his spiritual and temporal officers (1 Chronicles 22-29); as he also, in Solomon’s history, takes beforehand the small section concerning Solomon’s treasures and troops, 1 Kings 10:26-29, and places it beside that which is related in 1 Kings 3-5, and so on. That which appears arbitrary in these deviations, vanishes when we reflect that our author followed not so much the books of Samuel and Kings in their existing state, as certain old sources partly lying at their foundation, and partly deviating from them; and thus the nature of his sources had an effect on determining the arrangement and sequence of his materials.
[To this very thoughtful and interesting section it may be added, that the author of Chronicles confines his attention to David, and the kingdom founded on the promise made to him in 2 Samuel 7:0. Hence he excludes from direct consideration the kingdom of the ten tribes, which gradually fell into idolatry, and had long ceased to exist at the time in which he wrote. The facts do not warrant us in limiting his theme or his aim more than this, and therefore prevent us from charging him with any inconsistency which an imaginary limit of a narrower kind might create. The temple and its ordinances of worship become a prominent matter of fact in the kingdom of God, and its ministers and services claim a corresponding place in the history of this kingdom, without any motive in the writer more special than zeal for the glory of the true and living God.—J. G. M.]
§ 5. Sources Of The Chronist
From a closer examination of the contents of the several sections, it appears an indubitable fact that the peculiar stamp of our history depends on the nature of certain sources used by the author, which must have been in great part different from the historical books contained in the canon, and must have included many other accounts in addition to these.
I. Of the genealogical tables and registers, and the geographical terms in the first or genealogical part (1 Chronicles 1-9), only the introductory data referring to the patriarchs and the posterity of Edom, which are contained in 1 Chronicles 1:1 to 1 Chronicles 2:2, appear to be wholly and without exception taken from Genesis (see the special proof above, § 4, p. 11). A derivation of these data from any other source than Genesis is improbable, for this reason, that they follow very exactly the order of this book (extracting and recapitulating from Genesis 5:10, Genesis 5:11, Genesis 5:25, 36, and 35 22 ff.), and they do not present a single supplementary notice. A quite different impression is made by a comparison of the following genealogies and historical notices with the corresponding data of the Pentateuch, the book of Joshua, and the other historical books. These matters occur in those older books neither as continuous series of names, nor as genealogical lists interwoven with shorter or longer historical data (as, for example, 1 Chronicles 4:22 f., 1 Chronicles 4:39-43, 1 Chronicles 5:10-19). So far as they occur in them, they appear in quite a different connection, seldom forming longer series running through many generations; not leaving the impression of genealogical registers, or dry lists of names with occasional historical statements, but rather as integral moments of pragmatic narrative; while, in our book, they bear throughout the character of a genealogical register. In many deviations also, which are found in the number of generations, the genealogical materials of our book appear independent of the older histories; such as in the diverse spelling of many names, which may rest partly on mere errors of writing (which might easily creep in, especially in lists of names; compare the collection of notorious errors of this kind in Movers’ Krit. Unters. p. 66 ff., and see beneath, in our exeg. explanations, passim), but in no small part owe their origin to a different tradition; as so many differences regarding geographical data (for example, regarding the names of the Levitical cities, 1 Chronicles 6:39-66, compared with Joshua 21:10-39) must be referred to diverse old traditions, and, therefore, to peculiar sources. And such must be those of his sources that had in great measure prepared the way for his collecting and arranging propensity, in so far as they themselves contained longer genealogical series, composed in like manner, and interwoven with like historical data, and so were not pragmatically-fashioned historical works from which he must have artificially constructed his lists. He himself testifies in some places, that what he presents in genealogies and other lists of names is not the fruit of his arranging and editing care, but is derived from sources of a genealogical kind. For at the tribe of Gad, 1 Chronicles 5:17, he refers to a list of the families of this tribe that was prepared in the time of Jotham, king of Judah, and Jeroboam II. of Israel; at Issachar, 1 Chronicles 7:2, he refers to census of this tribe made in the time of David; and it is said, 1 Chronicles 9:1, that a census of “all Israel‚” that is, of the whole northern kingdom, had been made. And as in the second or historical portion reference is several times (1 Chronicles 23:3; 1 Chronicles 23:27, 1 Chronicles 26:31, 1 Chronicles 27:24) made to a census in the reign of David, and as the book of Nehemiah, which so nearly resembles our work in contents, mentions a list of the heads of the Levitical houses prepared in the time of the high priest Johanan (1 Chronicles 12:23) and a register found by Nehemiah of the families that returned with Zerubbabel from the exile (1 Chronicles 7:5; comp. also Ezra 2:59; Ezra 2:62), it appears not only highly probable, but absolutely certain, that there were ample and authentic genealogical sources from which our author took his lists. And it certainly appears from 1 Chronicles 24:0 and 1 Chronicles 9:1 (comp. Nehemiah 12:23) as if a part at least of these sources had been a constituent part of a greater historical work, namely, that old chronicle of the kingdom which is entitled, 1 Chronicles 27:24, Dibre hajjamim (the book of the chronicles of King David), and, 1 Chronicles 9:1, as “ the book of the kings of Israel.” In particular, the short lists in 1 Chronicles 5:7 of the ten tribes according to their families and houses, may be extracts from the genealogical and statistical part of these old annals of the kingdom; while the lists of a purely chronological kind, which refer to celebrated families or to single persons, of public or of eminent private character, may have come rather from the old family archives, to which our author, or other collectors before him, had found access. It is at all events natural to suppose that the endeavours of the times of Zerubbabel and Ezra to enter into relation with the time before the exile, and to make the most diligent use of the connection with it, prepared the way for his hunting up and making use of these genealogical registers. “ In the endeavour of the new community to restore the old relations, the divisions of the tribes, being connected with the whole remnant of the old community, must have acquired a new importance, and Chronicles is itself a proof of the attention that was paid to them. Its author gladly admits lists into his work, because he himself in this respect moves in the direction prevalent in his time. In short, from various sides comes to us the certainty, that the author of Chronicles was able to draw older lists of the divisions of the tribes and their number from other sources perhaps, but also, according to his own showing, from historical works in which the results of the registration and numeration of the families were collected. And his lists themselves point to a derivation from historical works; for they contain brief historical accounts standing in the closest connection with the recited names, and in them occurs the remark that something has continued “ unto this day ” (1 Chronicles 4:41; 1 Chronicles 4:43; 1 Chronicles 5:26),—a remark which, it is evident, cannot proceed from him who was charged with making out the lists, and is not added by the author of Chronicles, because it refers not to his time, but to the date of the work used by him, and is taken thence along with the other data” (Bertheau, p, xxxi. f.). Even an approximately exact determination of the date of these lists can scarcely be given, because often an old list may have been carried on some steps, either by our author or by some earlier investigators or collectors before him, so that its original closing point can no longer be clearly ascertained. Meanwhile, the fact that there were older or younger genealogical sources on which he rested in 1 Chronicles 2-9, is by no means disturbed or rendered doubtful by the partial uncertainty of their age, or the impossibility of sharply separating them from one another.
II. A still more ample array of ancient sources and accounts must have been accessible to our author for his second or historical part; for at the death of almost every king he refers to writings in which his acts and the events of his reign are recorded; only in Joram, Ahaziah, Athaliah, and in the later kings Jehoahaz, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah, are these references to older sources wanting. He cites in all the following sources:—
1. In David, the “ words ” (dibre) of Samuel the seer, of Nathan the prophet, and Gad the seer (“spier”), 1 Chronicles 29:29. 1 Chronicles 29:2. In Solomon, the “words” of Nathan the prophet, the prophecy (נְבוּאַת) of Ahijah of Shilo, and the “visions” (חֲזוֹת) of Iddi the seer against Jeroboam the son of Nebat, 2 Chronicles 9:29. 2 Chronicles 9:3. In Rehoboam, the “words” of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer, 1 Chronicles 12:15. 1 Chronicles 12:4. in Abijah, the “Midrash” of Iddo the prophet, 13:22. 5. In Asa, the book of the kings of Judah and Israel, 1 Chronicles 16:11; 1 Chronicles 6:0. In Jehoshaphat, the “ words” of Jehu the son of Hanani, which were inserted in the book of the kings of Israel, 20:34; 7. In Joash, the “Midrash” of the book of the kings, 1 Chronicles 24:27. 1 Chronicles 24:8. In Amaziah, the book of the kings of Judah and Israel, 1 Chronicles 25:26; 1 Chronicles 9:0. In Uzziah, a “writing” (כָּתַב) of Isaiah the prophet, 1 Chronicles 26:22. 1 Chronicles 26:10. In Jotham, the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, 1 Chronicles 27:7. 1 Chronicles 27:11. In Ahaz, the book of the kings of Judah and Israel, 28:26. 12. In Hezekiah, the “vision” (חָזוֹן) of Isaiah the prophet, in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel, 1Ch 32:32. 13. In Manasseh, the “words” of the kings of Israel, as well as the words of Chosai, Manasseh 33:18, 19; 14. In Josiah, the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, 35:27; 15. In Jehoiakim, the same work, 36:8.
That this list of sources admits, nay demands, a considerable number of reductions, appears indubitable, if we reflect that the thrice quoted “book of the kings of Judah and Israel” can hardly have been different from the as often quoted “book of the kings of Israel and Judah,” and also bear in mind the obvious identity of the “book of the kings of Israel” mentioned in No. 6, and the “words of the kings of Israel” quoted in No. 13, with that Israelito-Jewish book of Kings. For the name “Israel” in the latter two references can only be the collective designation of the whole people (as it deals, in both cases, with accounts of the kingdom of Judah, and not of the northern kingdom); and the phrase “book‚” or “words‚”—that is, events, history of the kings of Israel,—appears to be merely an abbreviation of the more complete title. According to this well-ascertained assumption, which is shared by almost all recent writers (Movers, Ewald, Bertheau, Dillm., Keil, Graf, and Fürst, Gesch. der bibl. Liter. ii. p. 214), the sources here quoted of a properly historical (not prophetical) character reduce themselves to one chief work—a great annalistic history of the kingdom of all Israel. It remains doubtful whether the book used by the author for the reign of Joash, which he calls the “Midrash” of the book of Kings, was identical with this great work, or different from it. For the identity, Keil had formerly maintained (Einl. i. Aufl. p. 494) that the history of Joash agrees as exactly with 2 Kings as the history of those kings for which the book of the kings of Israel and Judah is quoted; but he has recently acknowledged the objections raised to this by Bertheau to be on the whole plausible, or at all events difficult to refute. Accordingly, it would be hazardous to hold the phrase מִדְרַשׁ סֵפֶר as at once equivalent to the simple סֵפֶר, even if we wished to take מִדְרָשׁ, after 2 Chronicles 13:22, in the sense of essay, treatise (so Ewald, Gesch. Isr. i. 295), and not rather, as appears more obvious, and creates no tautology with סֵפֶר, in that of exposition, commentary (Gesen., Thenius, Fürst, etc.). And the assumption appears not far-fetched, that “the connection in which the apostasy of the king, the prophecy of Zechariah, and the victory of a small number of Syrians over the numerous host of the Jews stand in Chronicles, was set forth prominently in a Midrash or exposition of the book of the kings of Israel and Judah ” (Bertheau, p. xxxiii.). The weight of these grounds for assuming the diversity of the “Midrash” of the book of the kings quoted 2 Chronicles 24:27 from that book itself, cannot be mistaken. Yet it still remains uncertain whether we are to regard it as an explanatory work referring to the whole book of Kings, that might be used even elsewhere without express mention by our author, or as consisting of elucidations or digressive additions referring merely to the reign of Joash and its relations. The first view is that of Fürst (in p. q.), who, on the ground of Talmudic usage, explains the term Midrash by “enlargement of the history from oral or written tradition,” and transfers this process of legendary enlargement of the old book of Kings, or embellishment of it with historical “Midrash,” to the first Persian period, without being able, however, to adduce definite grounds for this course.
It is difficult, also, to decide the question concerning the relation of the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, so often quoted by our author, to the works often adduced in the canonical books of Kings, which are there separately designated as “the book of the chronicles (dibre hajjamim) of the kings of Israel,” and the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah. In contents, these annalistic sources of the canonical book of Kings must be identical with the chief written source of our Chronist, as the mostly verbal agreement of the accounts concerning the same transaction in that, as in this, shows. But what was to the author of the book of Kings two distinct works, one referring to the north and one to the south kingdom, this the Chronist must have had before him in the shape of one single work; for he quotes it under the name of the book of the kings of Israel for several of the southern kings, and for such even after the downfall of the northern kingdom as Manasseh, Josiah, and Jehoiakim. It is now a question, however, whether this single source of the Chronist was a later elaboration or combination of the dibre hajjamim, or old annals, quoted separately by the author of the book of kings of Israel and Judah, which were no longer extant, or was to be held as nothing else than our present book of Kings, so that the wavering manifold way of designating it was to be set down merely to the account of the defect of our author in diplomatic accuracy. Against the latter assumption (still not unfavourably discussed by Keil, p. 20 of his Comment.) speaks decidedly, a, the circumstance that the Chronist often refers to the book of the Kings, etc., as a source presenting full details, whereas the canonical books of Kings present not at all a fuller, but quite a briefer statement (comp. for example, his account of Jotham 2 Chronicles 27:0 with 2 Kings 15:32-38); b, the circumstance that the Chronist presents a mass of accounts for which we look in vain in the books of Kings; and c, the statement contained in 2 Chronicles 33:18 concerning Manasseh, that his prayer to God, and the words of the seers that spake to him, are written in the words of the kings of Israel, by which our canonical book of Kings, with its very meagre account of Manasseh, cannot possibly be meant. Equally impossible is, however, also the supposition of the identity of the annalistic sources of the Chronist with the double dibre hajjamim of the books of Kings (Keil, Bleek, Davidson, etc.); for these are uniformly quoted as two different works, the one referring to Israel, the other to Judah. On the other hand, the Chronist never uses the name dibre hajjamim for his source; for it could only be in 1 Chronicles 27:24 that he referred to it under this name, which, however, cannot be called probable, and if it were the case, would of itself prove nothing. In short, the apprehension of the “book of the kings of Israel and Judah” as a later combination of the dibre hajjamim mentioned in the books of Kings (Ewald, Bertheau, Dillm., Graf, Nöldecke, etc.) remains alone probable. Scarcely anything more definite can be ascertained concerning the form and date of these two annalistic sources, of which the older, twofold in form, forms the basis of the books of Kings; the younger, parallel to this, that of Chronicles. Only so much appears, that they bore not a political-official, but rather a prophetical character,—that is, they were not at once identical with the official records of the acts and events of the several reigns made by the royal chancellors or historiographers (מַזְכִירִים) (as Jahn, Movers, Stähelin, and others thought), but annalistic representations of the history of the kingdom derived from these official records, composed by prophetic writers, and, therefore, conceived in a prophetic spirit, and like our books of Kings and Chronicles, founded upon them, breathing a prophetic pragmatism. Farther, with respect to the date of these old annalistic histories of the kingdom, this at least appears certain, that the older works used by the author of the books of Kings were composed before the fall of the two kingdoms, as the oft-recurring formula “unto this day” presumes clearly the existence of the kingdom in question, and that the new elaboration of those old annals used as the chief source of the Chronist must have originated at least before the exile, because this also sometimes presents the phrase under circumstances that forbid the dating of the collection after the exile (see 2 Chronicles 5:9; 2 Chronicles 8:8; 2 Chronicles 10:19; 2 Chronicles 21:10, and therewith comp. 1 Kings 8:8; 1 Kings 9:13; 1 Kings 9:21; 1 Kings 12:19, 2Ki 2:22; 2 Kings 8:22; 2 Kings 10:27; 2 Kings 14:7; 2 Kings 16:6). Comp. Keil, Comment. p. 21 ff., who justly infers the composition of the sources in question before the exile from the double circumstance—“that, on the one hand, the references to these annals in both kingdoms continue not to the last kings, but (so at least in the book of Kings, 2 Kings 15:31; 34:5) close for the kingdom of Israel with Pekah, for that of Judah with Jehoiakim; on the other hand, in several events the formula ‘unto this day’ occurs, which, because it mostly refers not to the time of the exile, but to the times of the still existing kingdom, cannot proceed from the authors of our canonical books of Kings and Chronicles, but is taken over from the sources used, and in these can only then be rightly conceived, if they were written a more or less brief time after the events.” How completely arbitrary are, therefore, such dates as those of Nöldecke (Die Alttestamentl. Literat. p. 59), namely, that the dibre hajjamim, or “old lost chronicles of the kings of Israel and Judah,” were first composed about 550 B.C., during the exile, and the head source of the Chronist thence derived (the book of the kings of Israel and Judah), like the parallel canonical books of Kings, were of still later origin,—this needs no special proof. And again, that the latest times before the exile might very well be the date of the prophetic annals serving the Chronist as chief source, must be evident enough, when we think of the efforts of a king like Josiah, and the learned literary labour of a prophet like Jeremiah. Against Bähr’s opinion (Die Bücher der K. vol. vii. of the Bibelw. p. ix. ff.), that for the activity of an annalistic collector such as is now under consideration, the time shortly before the fall of the kingdom, the time of complete disorder, seems to be the least adapted, Keil appears to be justified in mentioning the prophet Jeremiah, who belongs precisely to this time, and must have been particularly occupied with the older sacred writings. And like the writings of this prophet, an annalistic historical work such as that in question might very well escape the destructive catastrophes of the time of Nebuchadnezzar, and by some means come into the hands of its later extractors and redactors (namely, the author of the canonical book of Kings, who, according to Bähr, p. viii., wrote still during the exile and in Babylon, and then our author after the exile).
Further, with regard to the prophetical writings above enumerated under Nos. 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 14, it is a question whether we are to see in these independent historical works, or mere constituent parts of the before-mentioned “book of the kings of Israel and Judah.” Against the independence affirmed by most older writers, and recently by Bleek, Davidson, Fürst, Keil, etc., and for the hypothesis that they were merely sections of the great annalistic book of Kings, named after certain contemporary prophets, Ewald, Berth., Dillm., Nöldecke, and even Bähr in p. q., mainly urged the circumstance, that of two of these prophetic writings, the dibre of Jehu (No. 6) and the “vision” of Isaiah (No. 12), it is expressly said by the Chronist that they were in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, or what amounts to the same thing, were inserted in it (No. 6). But, 1. What is said of these two writings can scarcely be transferred at once to all other writings of this kind; the notice referring to their incorporation into the greater historical work, or their belonging to it, must have been repeated oftener than once or twice, if serious doubt of their independence were to be justified. 2. The “Midrash” of the prophet Iddo mentioned 2 Chronicles 13:22 (No. 4), even because it is called a Midrash, cannot possibly be regarded as a separate section or integral part of the great book of Kings; rather might it have been a separate part of the after-mentioned (1 Chronicles 24:27) “Midrash of the book of Kings,” but would still even then be considered distinct from that older historical work. 3. The statement made regarding Isaiah, 2 Chronicles 26:22, that he “wrote (כָּתַב) the acts of Uzziah, first and last,” may certainly refer to a historical book composed by him, and incorporated at once into the great book of Kings, and so be understood in the sense of that hypothesis; but by the prophecy (נְבוּאַת) of Ahijah of Shilo, and the visions (חֲזוֹת) of Iddi against Jeroboam (2 Chronicles 9:29, No. 2), it is highly improbable that we are to understand historical works. These writings, as well as the incidentally-mentioned vision of Isaiah (2 Chronicles 32:32), appear to have been rather books of prophecy, with occasional historical notices; writings which, from their predominant character, were little fitted for incorporation in a great historical work, and of which, therefore, if such incorporation took place, it needed to be expressly mentioned (as in the vision of Isaiah above). 4. And where these writings of prophets are introduced with the term dibre, “words,” as in Samuel, Nathan, and Gad (No. 1), in Nathan (No. 2), in Shemaiah and Iddo (No. 3), in Jehu (No. 6), and in Chozai (No. 10), it is at least as natural, after the analogy of the superscriptions in Amos 1:1, Jeremiah 1:1, etc., to think of books of prophets as of historical notices; and it is at all events significant, that only of one of these prophetic works, the dibre of Jehu son of Hanani, is its insertion in the book of the kings of Israel expressly mentioned, whereas of the remainder nothing of the kind is stated. 5. The dibre Chozai (דִּבְרֵי חוֹזָי) indeed, 2 Chronicles 33:19, are named along with “the words of the kings of Israel” (as in 2 Chronicles 33:18) as historical sources for the reign of Manasseh, and thus plainly distinguished from the book of Kings, and by no means represented as part of it. Whether these dibre Chozai were actually the writing of an otherwise unknown prophet, Chozai or Chazai (possibly an abbreviation of חֲזָיָה; comp. Fürst, 2. 216), or the phrase be rather identical with דִּבְרֵי הַחזִֹים in the previous verse, so that an error in writing is to be assumed, and the original reading, according to the λόγοι τῶν ὁςώντων of the Sept., restored,—in any case, here is an independent prophetic book, distinct from the old book of Kings, which is not very favourable to the hypothesis that all these various writings belong to that historical work. 6. And the somewhat obscure and ambiguous phrase לְהִתְיַחֵשׂ after the form of quotation, “Are they not written in the words of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer” (2 Chronicles 12:15; see above, No. 3), can afford no proof of the dependence of the two works to which it refers. For whether we interpret this enigmatical phrase by “on genealogy,” or, supplying דָּוִד or בֵּית דָּוִיד, “on the genealogy of the house of David,”6 in no case does it appear an addition from which the dependence of the “words of Iddo the seer,” that is, their belonging to a greater work of another kind, must be concluded; for not the place where those words of Iddo are to be found (Ew., Berth., etc.), but rather the end they are to serve,—their purpose, namely, to be a genealogy,—appears to have been intended by the preposition ל. 7. Further, from the circumstance that “reference is made for the whole history of David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Jehoshaphat (as well as Uzziah) to prophetic writings, and likewise for the whole history of Asa, Amaziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Josiah to the book of the kings of Israel and Judah” (Berth. p. 36), no argument can be drawn for the assumption of one connected historical work of which those prophetic writings were only separate facts. From that circumstance, it merely follows “that in some kings the prophetic writings, in others the history of the kingdom, contained everything important on their life and reign, and that the history of the kingdom presented also accounts concerning the action of the prophets in the kingdom, as the prophetic writings concerning the affairs of the kings” (Keil, p. 23). What grounds determined the Chronist to refer for the one king to the royal annals, and for the other to the prophetic writings, it is impossible to conjecture, and it would be equally impossible to ascertain, in the case of the dependence of both kinds of writing (so if the question were about only two ways of quoting one and the same greater work). 8. Lastly, if (by Bähr, in p. q., p. 8 ff.) the verbal agreement of certain sections declared by our Chronist to be taken from the writings of particular prophets, as Nathan, Shemaiah and Iddo, Isaiah and Chozai, with the sections of the books of Kings that are quoted as taken from the old royal annals of Israel or of Judah, is urged to make it probable “that the book of the kings of Judah consisted of the historical writings of several prophets or seers,” this line of argument cannot be admitted as cogent. For Chronicles exhibits in the reigns of Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijah, Uzziah, and Manasseh, along with some things verbally agreeing with the books of Kings, whole series of accounts exclusively its own, for which the prophetic writings in question must have formed the source. And that a partly verbal accordance of their accounts with those of the old book of Kings takes place, only proves that this work was composed by the use of still older prophetic writings, to which a very high value belonged as contemporary records, but not that those prophetic writings formed integral parts of the book of Kings. It may be that the words of Nathan the prophet were taken in great part into his work by the later compiler of those dibre hajjamim from which the author of the canonical book of Kings mainly drew, and likewise the words (res gestæ, note-books) of Gad, Shemaiah, Iddo, etc. But must the independent existence of these old prophetic sources forthwith cease? Might not these prophetic books, also, like the dibre hajjamim or the “history of the kings of Israel and Judah” derived from them, if not collectively, yet in great part, have been preserved through the storms of the exile, to serve the collectors after the exile as sources and helps for their annalistic compilations? Where so many and so variously named sources are adduced, as in our author, it is most natural to suppose him actually to have access to a very rich field of original materials. The contrary supposition, which refers the constant change in his citations partly to unnecessary parade of literary knowledge and unmeaning fondness for a piebald multiplicity of terms, partly to inaccuracy or negligence, encounters far greater difficulties, and makes such a variety of hypothetical helps necessary, that it cannot be regarded as moving on the soil of sound historical investigation.
Moreover, it must be, and is confessed by the opponents of our hypothesis, for example by Bertheau, p. xxxviii., that our author, besides the sources actually cited, may have used an indefinite number of such works as he did not find it necessary to adduce. Thus, for his list of David’s heroes (1 Chronicles 11:10-47), David’s worthies in Hebron (12), the military and civil officers of this king (27), the families and divisions of the Levites, priests, singers, etc. (23–26), he certainly used old documents, which, however, he does not think it necessary expressly to adduce, perhaps because it was understood of itself that they were of an official kind, and therefore trustworthy (comp. for example, 2 Chronicles 34:4, where the author makes Josiah mention at the feast of the Passover a כְּתָב of David and a מִכְתָּב of Solomon concerning the services of the Levites and priests, or the temple liturgy,—documents, without doubt, which he himself had used in those sections of his first book [23–26]), or which he did not cite, “because he had taken them wholly into his work” (Keil), so that there was no place for a reference to them for further details. That our canonical books of Samuel and Kings belong to these rich sources used by our author is still possible; for the frequent verbal coincidence of his accounts with those of these books, may in some cases rest on the direct use, as well as on the copying, of a common ancient source; and it would not be impossible that by the words of Samuel the seer (דִּבְרֵי שְׁמוּאֵל הָרֹאֵה) cited in 1 Chronicles 29:29 our books of Samuel were meant. Yet the pretty numerous material as well as formal and verbal variations, which the parallel texts present almost everywhere, form a weighty counterpoise against this supposition; and what Movers, p. 95 ff., de Wette (Einl. § 192a), Ewald (Gesch. i. 238), Bleek (Einl. § 167, p. 400), and recently Graf (Die geschichtl. Bücher, p. 114 ff.) have adduced in its favour, appears, from the replies produced by Hävernick, Bertheau, and especially by Keil (Einl. § 144, 2), to be, if not quite refuted, yet shaken in such a degree, that far the greater probability lies on the side of those who exclude our books of Samuel and Kings from the sources used by the Chronist.
§ 6. Credibility Of The Chronist
The question of the credibility of our author would be simply answered by the remarks already made on his historical sources, and would admit of no unfavourable answer, if throughout and in every respect a faithful use of his sources may be presumed. That this praise can only be conceded to him in a limited sense, has been recently asserted, after the example of K. H. Graf (in p. q. p. 114 ff.), again by several critics, as Ed. Riehm (Stud. und Krit. 1868, ii. p. 376 ff.), H. Schultz (Alttestamentl. Theol. ii. p. 274 f.), H. Holtzmann (in Bunsen’s Bibelwerk, vol. iv. part 2, p. 12 ff.), and even Bertheau (Jahrb. f. deutsche Theol. 1866, p. 159 f.). The latter had formerly defended the substantial credibility of the author, as one employing good old sources, and using them with sedulous care, against the blunt attacks of de Wette and Gramberg (who made the Chronist merely copy the books of Samuel and Kings, but in all places deviating from them, distorting them in an arbitrary manner, misinterpreting, embellishing, or supplementing by invented additions7), and thus almost without reserve accepted that which J. G. Dahler (De libr. Paralip. auctoritate atque fide hist., Argentor. 1819), Movers (Krit. Untersuch., etc.), Keil (Apol. Versuch and Einl. ins A. T.), Hävernick (Einl. 1839), Ewald, and others had brought forward on behalf of the Chronist.8 On the contrary, he is now (Jahrbücher f. d. Theol. in p. q., in a review of Graf’s work, and in art. “Chronik” in Schenkel’s Bibel-Lex.) gone over to the modified reproduction of the de Wette-Gramberg view attempted by Graf, at least so far as to confess that he had not formerly estimated highly enough, nor duly considered, the proper action of the author of Chronicles; he had taken him for a more trustworthy and objective extractor from his sources than he really was. Th. Nöldecke has gone still farther, in his treatise on Die Alttestamentl. Literat. (1868, p. 59 ff.). By such sentences as, “All great wars mentioned only in Chronicles must be very suspicious,” “his narrative is therefore very defective,” he proceeds very negligently, and often contradicts himself,” and so on, he has almost wholly returned to the position of Gramberg, and has thereby incurred the severe censure even of F. Hitzig. The latter not long ago (in a conversation on Nöldecke’s paper concerning the inscription of Mesha, king of Moab, in the Heidelberg Jahrb. der Literat. 1870, p. 437) expressed his surprise to hear Mr. Nöldecke assert that “the account 2 Chronicles 20:0 is a strange story, only a transformation of 2 Kings 3:0, with the removal of difficulties, and the addition of a great deal of edifying matter.” He further remarks: “This is the strangest thing that has occurred to the writer since Volkmar wished to see the Apostle Paul in the false prophet of the Apocalypse. Has Mr. N. ever thought of the origin of the valley of Jehoshaphat in Joel 4:2? Has he read Movers on Chronicles? And is he always so bright, that he should stain the hypotheses of others? Quis tulerit Gracchos?” etc.
We cannot but see in this venomous onslaught of the Heidelberg theologian a chastisement on the whole deserved; for even in the more moderate and more carefully supported views of Graf there is expressed, in our opinion, a great deal of hypercritical arrogance and vehement prejudice against our author. Accordingly he appears as a biassed historian going to work in an unconscionable manner, idealizing, embellishing, and often capriciously transforming on a narrow Levitical principle, moved by the desire to write the history of the Jews, so that it shall be an impressive admonition to keep the commandments of God, especially to observe the ordinances of worship, and at the same time a solemn warning against apostasy from God. Instead of adhering closely to that which is found in his sources, he stamps on his work (which is a history of the Church more than of the people or kingdom) throughout his Levitical-priestly tendency, along with the characteristic spirit of his late age; he writes the history so as the variously-distorting and colouring mirror of the fourth century b.c. reflects it, and on behalf of the tastes and requirements of his contemporaries, seizes glaring colours, institutes striking contrasts, and handles the original material capriciously after his manner (comp. Berth. in the Jahrbüchern für deutsche Theol. in p. q.). Thus he makes use of the books of Samuel and Kings as if not the only, yet the principal sources, leaves out what appears to have no interest for his time and tendency, and alters their reports in various places as he requires, by means of enlarging insertions, various changes of meaning, and recastings, so that the number of passages borrowed by him from these books appears much smaller than it really is. Such is, above all, his whole history of David (1 Chronicles 10-29), a work formed by the manifold transformation of the corresponding account in the books of Samuel; only the lists of names inserted therein, especially those in 1 Chronicles 23-27, are derived from special sources,—by no means, however, more respectable nor earlier than the exile; and the words of Samuel the seer, of Nathan the prophet, and of Gad the seer, mentioned 1 Chronicles 29:29, are not special prophetic writings of a high age, but mere sections of our canonical books of Samuel. Thus it cannot be determined how far those sources are only freely and inaccurately used by him; and this applies as well to the sources of the history of David as to the genealogical sources used by him in the time before David (in 1 Chronicles 1-9). Farther, our Chronist’s representation of the history of Solomon (2 Chronicles 1:9) is merely elaborated on the basis of 2 Kings 1-11, with the omission of Solomon’s secular doings, his palace building, and idolatry; only in 1 Chronicles 8:36 gleams forth a peculiar source different from 1 Kings 9:17-19, which is used by him. Such sources also, differing from the text of the book of Kings, are used in the sections on Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11:5-12; 2 Chronicles 11:18-23), Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Ahaziah, Joash, Uzziah, Jotham, and Hezekiah. Throughout the Chronist has made use of these sources, which are all to be referred to the “book of the kings of Israel and Judah” lying at the root of the canonical books of Kings, in accordance with his object. This transforming bias of the Chronist appears most surprising in the narrative of the fall of Athaliah by the co-operation of the priests and Levites (23); as also in the embellished accounts of the successful wars of Abijah against the northern kingdom (13), in which, at the most, the statement of the three cities conquered by him (2 Chronicles 11:19) rests on old written sources; and likewise in the account of Solomon’s ascending the throne (2 Chron. 28:29), the deviations of which from 1 Kings 1:0 are due to the inventive turn of the Chronist, and not to any written or oral traditions whatever; as well as in the accounts concerning the divisions of the priests, Levites, and singers in David’s preparation for the temple, and in the building and consecration of it by Solomon, wherein it is evidently the design of the writer to represent the relations of these religious officials as already existing at the time of the founding of the temple.
The πρῶτον ψεῦδος of Graf’s accusations and suspicions of the historical character of our work consists in the totally unfounded presupposition, that the author made use of the canonical books of Samuel and Kings almost alone, as sources, and that his deviations from them are to be ascribed to the caprice of the redactor. We have already shown it to be extremely probable that our author made no use whatever of these books (§ 5). The number of passages in which there is a verbal coincidence of his accounts with those of the older historical books is comparatively small, and even these may without much difficulty be regarded as flowing from a common source, so that the assumption that they belong to the sources of our author appears by no means necessary. But even if it were proved, both that he drew from the historical books of the canon, and that he made a free use of them with an occasional departure from them, his credit as a trustworthy historian in all essential matters would suffer no more than it would from a similar use of his other materials.
1. For his parenetic tendency permitted him, if he did not interfere with the objective historical fact, in numerous cases to transform the old accounts to suit his peculiar Levitical-ecclesiastical pragmatism, to which, in respect of the times of our author, as full a privilege must be conceded as to the theocratico-prophetic pragmatism of the older historians (comp. the examples to be adduced under No. 4). And that the non-subjective mode of our historian, compared with the more objective fashion of the books of Kings, led to no distortions, falsifications, or arbitrary transformations of facts, is manifest from the circumstance already noticed, that he has not kept back all that was at his command on behalf of his pragmatic tendency, and has often omitted matters of consequence for his point of view, so that he may be justly charged with a certain degree of inconsistency (comp. § 4).
2. A quite harmless and allowable class of alterations, that our author makes in his materials, refers to the genealogical lists, especially those of the first part, where he in part arranges anew and groups in certain proportions the lists of names taken from the Pentateuch, not so much to aid the memory as to exhibit the numerical law and symbolic import of these parts of sacred history. Thus he not only in 1 Chronicles 1:0 keeps apart the ten patriarchs from Adam to Noah and the ten from Noah to Shem, but derives, certainly without defining or marking this by giving express prominence to the number, 70 nations from Noah, 70 families from Abraham, and 70 descendants from Judah (1 Chronicles 1:28, 1 Chronicles 2:25), refers the eight sons of Jesse to the sacred number seven, and leaves out, partly from a religious and symbolic consideration, the tribe of Dan repeatedly in his enumeration of the tribes (see on 1 Chronicles 7:12). It is obvious that by none of these idealizing changes of the genealogical matter that come to hand is a proper distortion of the historical relations effected, and still less by so many other less intentional alterations, such as the transpositions and reductions in the series of names in Genesis; for example, 1 Chronicles 4:1 ff.
3. Another class of alterations, which proceed as little from caprice or culpable negligence, belongs to the linguistic department. It consists in the exchange of many phrases and turns belonging to the old Hebrew for the corresponding phrases of the later language, and has in most cases no deeper ground than such orthographic changes as the scriptio plena instead of the defectiva, and the reverse—the introduction of later, Aramaizing forms instead of the older ones. To this belong the change of older formations, as עוֹלָם ,תְּחִנָּה ,מַמְלָכָה, etc., into the later עֵילוֹם ,תַּֽחֲנוּן ,מַלְכוּת; the change of the construction by omission of the infin. absol. with the verb finit., or by the use of the preposition אֶל or of ה loc. in verbs of motion, as עָלָה ,הָלַךְ ,בּוֹא; the avoiding or paraphrasing of certain pregnant constructions of the older language, and the like (comp. the collection of numerous examples of all these in Movers, p. 200 ff.; and after him, in Hävernick and Keil, Einl. § 142, p. 482 ff.). These deviations from the old forms of the sources are of the less importance, as they are carried to a very small extent, and the character of the original may almost always be clearly distinguished from that of the chronicle.
4. Of scarcely more importance are those changes occasioned by the religious and dogmatic views of the author, which, without touching the facts, bring out new aspects of the religious side of the history. For example, in the account of David’s numbering of the people, where the author (1 Chronicles 21:1) refers that which in the older account (2 Samuel 21:1) is represented as the direct effect of the divine wrath to the subordinate activity of Satan, and where he represents God’s “being entreated” at the end of the older account (2 Samuel 24:25) in a more concrete and pictorial manner as an “answering from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt-offering” (comp. also 2 Chronicles 6:1 with 1 Kings 8:54 f.); or as in such pragmatic reflective additions as 2 Chronicles 7:11 (“all that he wished to do in the house of Jehovah and in his own house was successful,” for which the older parallel 1 Kings 9:1 has only” “what he wished to do,” etc.); likewise 2 Chronicles 8:11 (the ground on which Solomon built a separate house for Pharaoh’s daughter; comp. 1 Kings 9:24); 2 Chronicles 22:7 (giving prominence to the divine dispensation occasioning the death of king Ahaziah; comp. 2 Kings 8:29); 2 Chronicles 18:31 (“And Jehovah helped him, and God drove them from him;” comp. the account omitting all such remarks, 1 Kings 22:32 f.); also 1 Chronicles 10:13 f. (remark on Saul’s deserved death; comp. 1 Samuel 31:12), and 1 Chronicles 11:3 (reference to Samuel’s prophetic announcement of the coronation of David at Hebron; comp. 2 Samuel 5:3).
5. A further class of deviations from the older parallel accounts involves a number of actually erroneous statements, that are mostly to be ascribed to old corruptions of the text either found in the sources of the Chronist or introduced into his work by the fault of negligent transcribers, and therefore cannot affect the character and credibility of the author. The only nearly certain example of an error on his part, arising apparently from geographical ignorance, is the explanation of the Tarshish ships of the Red Sea as being designed to trade to Tarshish (2 Chronicles 9:21; 2 Chronicles 20:36). This appears, according to 1 Kings 10:22; 1 Kings 22:49, to be a real misinterpretation, which can be removed no more by an identification of Tarshish with Ophir than by the supposition that our author was acquainted with a place of the name of Tarshish (thus, an eastern Tartessus) in Ophir or its neighbourhood (comp. Bähr on 1 Kings 10:22, and the exeg. expl. given on 2 Chronicles 9:21). If we except this one passage, all else of an erroneous nature in his text is most probably to be reduced to errors in copying, that either existed in his sources or were introduced into his text. Under this head come especially the numbers which deviate from those in the books of Samuel and Kings, on account of which it has been thought necessary (by de Wette, Gramberg, etc.) to impute to him arbitrary exaggeration of the greatness of Israel before the exile, of his armies, population, treasures, offerings, etc., without considering that the older historical books often exhibit notorious corruptions of the text in numbers (for example, the 30,000 chariots of the Philistines in 1 Samuel 13:5, or the 70 men and 50,000 men of Bethshemesh in 1 Samuel 6:19; comp. more examples of this kind in Wellhausen, Der Text der Bücher Samuelis, etc., pp. 20, 66, 81, 133, 219, etc.), and that in some cases Chronicles gives the smaller and more credible number; for example, 2 Chronicles 9:25, where it mentions 4,000 stalls for Solomon’s horses, which is certainly more correct than the parallel text 1 Kings 5:6, where the number of these horses and stalls amounted to 40,000 (comp. Bähr’s crit. note on the p., p. 26). As notorious instances of textual corruption in numbers not due to the author, are to be noted 1 Chronicles 21:5, where the 1,100,000 men in Israel rests on a simple clerical error for 800,000; 2 Chronicles 16:1, where, instead of the 36th, the 16th year of Asa is to be read (as in the previous verse instead of the 35th the 15th); 2 Chronicles 20:2, where the 42 years of King Ahaziah’s age, instead of the 22 of 2 Kings 8:26, appear to have arisen from the exchange of מ and כ. That the use of the letters for numbers is very ancient, and was adopted long before the Masoretic recension, is proved by the circumstance that the Sept. exhibits in its text a great deal of the errors in numbers arising from the exchange of letters, and indeed not merely in Chronicles, but in various other books; for example, in Ezra 2:69, where it reproduces the error of 61,000, instead of 41,000, Darics from the Hebrew text (comp. Nehemiah 7:70-72), and often also in the books of Samuel, etc. Along with these numerical errors resting on the corruption of the text, there are a great many cases in which the Chronist himself or his source before him shows decided differences in his numbers from the other canonical books; and these are by no means at once to be ascribed to the boastful and exaggerating bias of the author. Rather, as Keil (Komm. p. 30) justly points out, are we to bear in mind, with regard to these different numbers, a. “That they are generally round numbers determined only to thousands, depend therefore not on actual numbering but on loose estimates of contemporaries, and assert nothing more than that the size of the army and the number of the slain or the captives was rated very high;” and b. “That in the quantity of gold and silver collected by David for the building of the temple,—100,000 shekels or hundredweight (כִּכָּרִים) of gold and 1,000,000 hundredweight of silver, 1 Chronicles 22:13,—the actual amount cannot be ascertained, because we know not the weight of the shekel of that day,”—a circumstance that must be taken into account in many other differences, as the exegesis of the several passages will show.
6. Actual deviations from the older historical works, but still none that can be charged to our author as wilful distortions or falsifications, are contained in many of the speeches ascribed to David, Abijah, Asa, and other kings, or even to private persons, especially prophets; for example, the speeches of David given in 1 Chronicles 13:2 f., 1 Chronicles 15:12 f., 1 Chronicles 28:2-10, 1 Chronicles 29:1 ff., 1 Chronicles 29:10 ff., which have little or no parallel in the books of Samuel; that of Abijah, 2 Chronicles 13:4-12; of Asa, 2 Chronicles 14:11; of Azariah son of Oded, 2 Chronicles 15:1-7; of Hezekiah, 2 Chronicles 32:7 f., etc. That the greater number of those speeches, if not all, were contained in the sources of our author, may be concluded with sufficient certainty from the one circumstance, that three speeches of Solomon which he communicates (2 Chronicles 1:8-10; 2 Chronicles 6:4-42) occur in almost the same words in the book of Kings, whence his fidelity and care in the reproduction of such pieces are manifest. Here the speeches of different persons distinguish themselves in a characteristic manner by their line of thought, their figures and turns; the peculiar speech and style of the Chronist is stamped upon them only in a comparatively small degree. This is very striking in three of David’s speeches, namely, in the longer addresses relating to the future building of the temple by Solomon (1 Chronicles 22:7-16; 1 Chronicles 28:2-21; 1 Chronicles 29:1-5). Here the author appears, as the manifold conformity of that which is put in the mouth of David with his peculiarities in thought, speech, etc., shows, to have acted pretty freely, and without resting on sources to have attempted an ideal reproduction of the thoughts moving the soul of the aged king and uttered by him. But the prayer of David annexed to the last of these addresses, 1 Chronicles 29:10-19, proves itself to be derived from ancient sources by its manifold coincidence with the Psalms of David (see on 1 Chronicles 29:11; 1 Chronicles 29:15), especially 1 Chronicles 29:18, with which it agrees in the characteristic accumulation of predicates of God. And all the other speeches in question show similar traces of old original peculiarities foreign or remote from the Chronist’s manner of thought, speech and style; for example, that of Abijah, 2 Chronicles 13:4-12, that, among other accordances with our author, exhibits in the phrases אֲנָשִׁים רֵקִים and בְּנֵי בְלִיַּעַל clear marks of their connection with the usage of the time of David and Solomon; that of Hezekiah, 2 Chronicles 32:7 f., in which the phrase זְרוֹעַ בָּשָׂר reminds us of his intercourse with the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 31:3); lastly, the shorter or longer utterances handed down by various prophets, which generally contain much that is original, especially that of Azariah son of Oded addressed to King Asa, 2 Chronicles 15:1-7, which, by its remarkable coincidence with parts of the Oratio eschatologica of Christ, as Matthew 24:6 f., Luke 12:19, proves itself to be an old independent creation of the genuine prophetic stamp (comp. C. P. Caspari, Der syrisch-ephraim. Krieg, Christiania 1849, p. 55 ff.). Thus it is essentially the same with the speeches given by our historian as with those in the other historical books, from the Pentateuch and Judges down to the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of John. The original and subjective proper to the late reporter appears in them connected as matter and form, as seed and shell, without any sharp distinction of the reporter’s addition from the original text. But a certain formative influence of the original type proper to the old source appears in the diction and style of the younger writer. And as the glass transmits no light without imparting its peculiar hue, or the instrument conveys no tone without its own individual modification, so the physiognomy of the speeches in our book exhibits that mutual influence of the proper individuality of the author and of the materials that have come down to him from the past, that interchange of subjectivity and objectivity, which displays itself in a similar way in the speeches of Judges and Kings (especially the prophetical; comp. Delitzsch, Komm. zu Jesaja, Einl. p. 14 f.), and also in the New Testament, in the speeches of Christ in John, and of Peter, Stephen, and Paul in the Acts of the Apostles.
7. The last class of deviations chargeable to the subjectivity of the Chronist relates to the descriptions of religious festivals, particularly in the history of David (1 Chronicles 15:16), Solomon (2 Chronicles 5-7), Hezekiah (29–31), and Josiah (25), where the same circumstantial description of certain acts of worship, especially of the playing and singing of the Levites and priests, constantly recurs, and always in essentially the same rhetorical dress, and with the same phrases and liturgical formulæ (comp. § 2 above). It may seem at first sight that the author in such descriptions dates back the liturgical usages and ceremonies of his own age, and transfers not only his Levitical and priestly mode of thought, but the religious customs and performances of his time, uncritically to the worship of the reigns of David, Solomon, Hezekiah, etc. But the suspicions in this direction expressed by de Wette, Gramberg, and recently by Graf, Nöldecke, Holtzmann, and others, rest on a twofold misconception—(1) That the sacrificial worship, according to the rules of Leviticus, or the introduction of music and singing of psalms, dates from the exile; and (2) that our author, whenever he treats of the occurrence of such usages, writes wholly without ancient sources, and so lays himself open to the charge of arbitrary falsifications of history in favour of his own views and times. On the contrary, the essentials of the form of worship undoubtedly go back to the times of Moses, or at all events, long before the exile; and the modification which our author makes in his accounts of the festivals consists only in individual touches and details, whereby he endeavours to trace out for himself and his readers a clear picture of the actual events. That he herein allowed himself a certain drawing together of far-separated times and customs, a presentation of earlier usages in the light of the current times,—in short, a modernizing process in minor particulars,—does not on the whole mar the credibility of his narrative. It may be that in 1 Chronicles 16:8-36, in describing the solemn conveyance of the ark to Jerusalem, he lets a psalm be introduced by Asaph and his brethren which David had not literally composed for this solemnity, but which was an ideal reproduction of the psalm then sung, but springing from a later time; that he allowed himself here the same sort of substitution as if a modern historian were to set back Luther’s “Ein feste burg,” etc., from the year 1530, or from the time of the Augsburg Diet, to which its origin was really due, till the year 1521, or the time of the Diet of Worms. In like manner, what is said (1 Chronicles 28:11-19) of the several materials and vessels of the future temple which David reckoned up and handed over to Solomon may involve a proleptic idealizing and altering of the transaction, which forms a deviation not only from the far simpler and shorter account in the book of Kings, but from that which lay before the author regarding the last acts of the reign of David. And so it may be with several other details of religious action in the statements of our author; for example, his notice of the temple gates and porticos under David (1 Chronicles 26:16-18), of the reform of Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29 ff.), etc. On the whole, these freer combinations of historical events, corresponding with the priestly Levitical pragmatism and parenetic tendency of the author, derogate nothing from the credibility of his narrative. It remains, therefore, highly probable, that much if not most of these modifications of the history before the exile had its root in the sources before the author, particularly in the “book of the kings of Israel and Judah,” the harmony of which, with his views and predilections, must neither be exaggerated nor underrated (comp. Del. in p. q., p. xvi.).
On the whole, a marked subjective colouring of his narrative in the direction of the priestly-Levitical standpoint may be ascribed to our author; he may be charged with having less aptitude for quiet, strictly objective conception and presentation of his materials than his predecessors, the authors of the books of Samuel and Kings, and with putting forward his didactic-moralizing bent often too strongly, and not always free from a legal externality of thought and intuition. But it appears unwarranted to reproach him with a want of love for the truth or an uncritical levity in dealing with facts, or to charge him with wilful invention or falsification of history; for the solid foundation of old original tradition gleams forth at every step of his narrative, and conveys, even where he goes farthest from the parallel text of the books of Kings, and brings in the most important supplements to their report, the impression of the highest trustworthiness: for example, in the accounts of Rehoboam’s building of forts and his domestic concerns (2 Chronicles 11:5 ff., 1 Chronicles 11:18 ff.); in the statements concerning the three cities conquered by Abijah, and concerning his family (2 Chronicles 13:19-21); in the history of Jehoshaphat, so full of concrete details of the most trustworthy kind (2 Chronicles 13:17-20); in the surprisingly exact yet obviously authentic statements concerning Amaziah’s troops hired from Israel, and the plundering raid in which they engaged after they were discharged (2 Chronicles 25:5 ff.); in the history of Manasseh, for the details of which he certainly, not without grounds, refers to older sources, as the book of the kings of Israel and the words of Chozai (33), etc. The Levitical-priestly and legal external stamp of his history may be regarded as a characteristic mean between the prophetic pragmatism of the older historians, as the authors of the books of Samuel and Kings, and the pharisaic pragmatism of the writers after the canon, as the author of the 2 Maccabees, or Josephus.9 Yet he stands incomparably nearer to his prophetic predecessors of the time of or immediately before the exile, than to these Epigoni of all Old Testament history; and not a trace is to be discovered in him, either of the spiritless externality or fanatical rigorism of the doctrine of retribution as it appears in such apocryphal books as Judith, 2 Maccabees, etc., or of the Rome-favouring, and therefore anti-national and untheocratic, pragmatism of the Pharisee Josephus.
Remark.—With respect to the text of Chronicles, Jerome perceived that the greatest critical care must be taken, especially on account of the many names which are presented in it, and have been variously corrupted and distorted in the Sept. and the Itala: “Ita et in Græcis et Latinis codicibus hic nominum liber vitiosus est, ut non tam Hebræa quam barbara quædam et Sarmatica nomina congesta arbitrandum sit.” Thus he speaks in his Præf. in lib. Paralip. juxta Sept. interp. (Opp. t. x. p. 432, edit. Vall.); and he relates there that he employed a learned Jew of Tiberias, and with him compared the text, “a vertice ut aiunt usque ad extremum unguem.” In the relative fidelity and accuracy that otherwise notoriously exists in this part of the Alexandrine version (and the Itala, which agrees with it word for word),10 this observation, which he was compelled to extend on further examination to the numerical data of Chronicles, and to many other details, is certainly remarkable. In a still higher degree must he have been surprised, on a more extended knowledge of languages and an exacter method of critical investigation, by the state of the text of another old version of our book, the Syriac version or Peshito (with its omissions of whole series of names, its various gaps and interpolations, its transpositions and occasional arbitrary deviations from the original).11 The acknowledgment of no small uncertainty of the original Hebrew text itself is forced upon us in view of this serious corruption of the oldest versions, in which the later of necessity participate; for example, the Arabic version derived from the Peshito, likewise the comparatively young Targum originating scarcely before the seventh century (published, with a Lat. vers., by M. F. Beck, Augustæ Vindel. 1680, and with greater critical care by Dav. Wilkins, Amstelædam. 1715, 4); and hence arises for expositors the equally important and difficult problem of a frequent correction of the Masoretic text, to be cautiously executed and wisely limited, according to those versions, as well as the parallel passages in the older books of the canon. This necessity of an occasional amendment in numbers and names, imposed by the peculiarity of the text of Chronicles, was acknowledged by J. Alb. Bengel; for on 2 Chronicles 28:1 (comp. 1 Chronicles 29:1) he adds the marginal note, Hic videtur lectio Græca, quæ viginti quinque annos Achazo tribuit, præferenda Hebræo. “Errors may have more easily crept into the books of Chronicles, because they were not publicly read as the books of Moses,” etc. (Contributions to Bengel’s exposition, and his remarks on the Gnomon N. T. from manuscript notes, published by Dr. Osk. Wächter, Leips. 1865, p. 18) To this well-grounded conjecture regarding the very numerous textual errors of our book Bertheau also points (Komm. p. xlvii): “It appears as if the same careful regard was not paid to the text by the Jews in older times, to which we owe the faithful transmission of that form of the text of most other books of the Bible that came into general acceptance about the time of Christ; comp. for example, 1 Chronicles 17:18; 1Ch 17:21; 2 Chronicles 2:9; 2 Chronicles 10:14; 2Ch 10:16; 2 Chronicles 20:25; 2 Chronicles 26:5.” That, moreover, the endeavour to refer the deviations of the Chronist from the other historical books of the Old Testament to mere corruptions of the text may be carried too far, and has been carried too far perhaps by Movers (p. 50 ff.), at all events by Laur. Reinke in his Beiträgen zur Erkl. des Alten T., Abhandl. I., has been justly pointed out by Davidson, Introd. ii. p. 114 sq.
[The only error here traced to the Chronist, and supposed to arise from his ignorance of ancient geography, is the statement that ships of Tarshish (1 Kings 10:22; 1 Kings 22:49) were ships trading to Tarshish (2 Chronicles 9:21; 2 Chronicles 20:36). It may turn out, however, that the error lies with the modern critic rather than with the ancient chronicler. It is recorded that Pharaoh Neko (617–601 b.c.) employed Phœnician mariners to sail from the Arabian Gulf round Africa, and return by the Pillars of Hercules (Herod. iv. 42),—a voyage which was accomplished in three years. Herodotus accepts the fact, though he discredits the statement that in sailing round Africa they had the sun on the right,—a statement which goes to prove the veracity of the reporters. And until it is proved that the Phœnicians were not acquainted with this way of reaching Tarshish by bugging the shore of Africa, and bartering as they went along for ivory and other African commodities, the geographical error has not been brought home to this ancient and otherwise accredited writer. (See further on the passages in the Comm.) We merely add to what has been here so ably and thoughtfully said on the general question of credibility, that the supposed bias or leaning of the writer of Chronicles is due not to any real narrowness or onesidedness, but to the necessity of having some distinct and important end in going over the same ground as the former historical works. This end is that which justifies the production of another history of the past times. The chronicler, we have no doubt, had the Pentateuch and the former prophets before him, containing the history of the dealings of God with man from the beginning, to the fall of the kingdom of Judah by the capture of the city of David and the burning of the temple of Solomon. He could have no reason for going over any part of this ground, unless he had some new aspect of the history to signalize, and some new lesson to convey to the people of God on returning from the captivity. This new thing is the distinct and exclusive history of the kingdom of David, with its peculiar arrangements for the worship of the temple, in which the orders of priests and Levites were established, and the masters of song took a prominent part. This is to be the system of things until it has given birth to a new economy or development of the kingdom of God on earth. And the new lesson, which is indeed an old lesson, is the uniform dependence of national prosperity and progress on intelligent and voluntary walking with God in all His ordinances and commandments. Chronicles therefore stands to the older history as Deuteronomy to the preceding four books of Moses, or as John to the synoptical Gospels. It would have no warrant for its place in the canon, if it did not show an object distinct from that of the older history; and instead of ascribing its peculiar characteristic to the idiosyncrasy of the author, it behoves us to discern in it the special purpose for which it was appended to the previous record. We do not expand this hint at present, but leave it to the consideration of the reader. With regard, moreover, to the psalm committed by David to Asaph, 1 Chronicles 16:7, for thanking the Lord, see on the passage.—J. G. M.]
§ 7. Literature
Neither the exegetical nor the critical literature of this book is very rich; indeed, there is scarcely one portion of the Old Testament that has found fewer labourers either in the one respect or the other. The older Jewish commentators shrank from the many difficulties which the genealogies of the first chapters presented. Yet a tolerably full commentary on our book has been ascribed to Rashi (R. Solomon Isaaki, † 1105), which, however, according to J. Weisse in Kerem Chemed (Prague 1841; comp. Fürst, Bibl. Jud. ii. 85), cannot proceed from
this celebrated Rabbinical scholar of the Middle Ages. Other Rabbinical commentaries are those of Joseph ben David Aben Jechija (comp. the edit of D. Wilkins, Paraphrasis Chaldaica in ii. lib. Chron. auctore R. Josepho, Amstel. 1715), and of Isaac ben R. Sol. Jabez; comp. Carpzov. Introd. in Vet. T. p. 298; also R. Simon’s Hist. Critique du v. Test., Par. 1680, p. 30.
Of the Church Fathers, Jerome (only in a cursory and meagre way in his Quæstiones Hebr. in Chron., Opp. t. iii. 851 sq.), Theodoret, and Procopius of Gaza have commented on Chronicles; comp. Theodoreti ἐρωτήσεις εἰς β. αʹκ. βʹ παραλειπ., Opp. edit. Schulze, t. i. p. 554 ff., and Procopii Gaz. scholia in libb. Reg. et in Paralip., edit. Jo. Meursius., Lugd. Bat. 1620, 4.—A “Latin commentary on Chronicles of the 9th century” has been published by Abr. Rahmer, Thorn 1866.
Modern expositors since the Reformation.—None of the Reformers have treated Chronicles exegetically, not even Brenz, by whom there are commentaries on the collective historical books of the Old Testament. The expository writings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are mostly collected in M. Pole, Synopsis criticorum, etc., Lond. 1669 ff.—Special prominence is merited by Lud. Lavateri Comment. in Paralip., Heidelb. 1599, on account of the very careful treatment of the genealogical lists. Comp. also Victorin Strigel, Comm. in libb. Sam., Reg., et Paralip., Lips. 1591; Erasm. Sarcerius, Comm. in lib. Chron., Basil. 1560; and the Catholic commentaries of Nic. Serrarius (Comm. in lib. Reg. et Paralip., Lugd. Bat. 1618), Casp. Sanctius (in Paralip. ll. ii., Antw. 1624, Lugd. 1632), Jac. Bonfrère (Comm. in libr. Reg. et Paralip., Tornac. 1643). Likewise M. Fr. Beck, Paraphr. Chaldaica ii. libr. Chron., Aug. Vindel. 1680, 83.
Of the eighteenth century: Aug. Calmet’s Commentaire litéral sur tous les livres de l’anc, et nouv. Test., Par. 1707 ff.—Jo. Clerici, Comment. in Hagiogr., Amstel. 1731.—Joh. H. Michaelis, Uberiores adnot. in Hagiographos V. T. libros, Hal. 1720, vol. iii. (the first book of Chronicles treated by J. H. Michaelis, the second by J. J. Rambach).—H. B. Stark, Notæ selectæ in Pent., Jos., Jud., Sam., Reg., Chron., Esr., et Neh., Lips. 1714.—Chr. Starke’s Synopsis, part iii. 2d edit., Leipz. 1756.—J. D. Michaelis, Uebers. des Alt. Test. in Anmerkungen für Ungelehrte, part xii. 1785.
Of the nineteenth century: J. B. D. Maurer, Comm. gram. crit. in V. T. vol. i., Lips. 1835.—E. Bertheau, Die Bücher der Chronik erklärt (fifteenth issue of the Kurzgef. exeget. Handbuch zum A. T.), Leipz., Brockhaus, 1865.—C. F. Keil, Bibl. Komm. über die nachexilischen Geschichtsbücher: Chron., Ezr., und Esth. (part v. of the Bibl. Komment. über das A. T.), Leipz., Dörffl., and Franke, 1870 [translated in Clark’s Foreign Theological Library].—B. Neteler, Die Bücher der biblischen Chronik, übersetzt und erklärt, Münster, Coppenrath, 1872 (second issue by this publisher of the General Commentary on the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament on Catholic Principles).
Introductory critical monographs:—a. Of destructive tendency: De Wette, Beiträge zur Einleitung ins A. T., part i., Leipz. 1806 (comp. above, § 6).—C. P. W. Gramberg, Die Chronik nach ihrem geschichtlichen Charakter und ihrer Glaubwürdigkeit geprüft, Halle 1823.—K. H. Graf, Die geschichtlichen Bücher des A. T., two historico-critical discussions, Leipz. 1866, p. 114 ff.
b. Of apologetic tendency: J. G. Dahler, De libr. Paralip. auctoritate et fide historica, Argentor. 1819.—E. F. Keil, Apol. Versuch über die Bücher der Chronik und über die Integrtät des Buches Esra, Berl. 1833.—F. C. Movers, Kritische Untersuchungen über die bibl. Chronik, Bonn 1834.—M. Stuart, Critical History and Defence of the O. Test. Canon (concerning especially the Pentateuch, the writings of the prophets, and of Solomon, Esther, and Chronicles), Andover, U. S., 1845.—Bertheau, Art. “Chronik” in Schenkel’s Bibellexicon, vol. i. p. 528 ff. (also in his critique of Graf’s monogr. in the Jahrb. für deutsche Theol. 1866, p. 158 ff.).
Exegetical and critical monographs on particular passages: B. Kennicott, Comparatio capitis undecimi libri 1 Chron. cum. cap. quinto libri 2 Samuelis, in Diss. super ratione textus Hebraici V. T., ex Angl. Lat. vertit G. A. Teller, Lips. 1756.—Jul. Wellhausen, De gentibus et familiis Judæis, quæ 1 Chron. ii.–4. enumerantur, Göttingen 1870.—Seb. Schmid, De literis Eliæ ad Joramum, Argentor. 1717 (on 2 Chronicles 21:12-15).—C. P. Caspari, Der syrisch-ephraimitische Krieg unter Jotham und Ahas, Christiania 1849 (especially on 2 Chron. 27:28).—K. H. Graf, Die Gefangenschaft und Bekehrung Manasse’s 2 Chronicles 33:0, Theol. Stud. u. Krit. 1859, part iii. p. 467 ff.—Against him: E. Gerlach, Die Gefangenschaft and Bekehrung Manasse’s ebendas., 1861, part iii. p. 503 ff., and L. Reinke, Die Geschichte des Königs Manasse und die darin liegende angebliche Schwierigkeit (in vol. viii. of his Beitrage zur Erklärung des A. T., 1872, p. 115 ff.).—Comp. also Eberh. Schrader, Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Test., Giessen 1872, pp. 238–243; which excellent work, like the papers on this subject by the same author in the Zeitschrift der Deutschen morgenländ. Gesellschaft, and in the Theol. Stud. u. Krit. (1869, 70, 71), contains rich monographic contributions to the exposition as well of the other historical books of the Old Testament as especially of Chronicles.
Bibl. Comment. on Chron., Ezr., Nah., and Esth., Introd. p. viii.
Jerome’s Prolog. galeat.: Dibre hajamim, i.e. verba dierum, quod significantius chronicon totius divinæ historiæ possumus appellare, qui liber apud nos Paralipomenon primus et secundus inscribitur.
The whole passage (Opp. ed. Vallars. t. i. p. 279) runs thus: Paralipomenon liber, i.e. instrumenti veteris epitome, tantus et talis est, ut absque illo, si quis scientiam scripturarum sibi voluerit arrogare, se ipsum irrideat; per singula quippe nomina juncturasque verborum et prætermissæ in Regum libris tanguntur historiæ et innumerabiles explicantur evangelii quœstiones.
Quod peculiare est in dictione utriusque libri Chronicorum, id etiam in dictione libri, qui Ezrœ tribuitur auctori ejusque noman prœ se fert, animadvertitur, quatenus lingua Hebraica conscriptus est.
That the composition must have taken place during the Persian rule, and before Alexander the Great, can scarcely be inferred from the mention of this coin (against Movers). For as Bleek justly remarks, p. 1Ch 398: “It may well be imagined, and is in itself quite natural, that a silver or gold coin, once introduced into the country and extensively circulated, Will continue in long after the dynasty that coined it has ceased to rule.”
The latter assumption is rendered probable by the rendering of the Targumist: “in the genealogy of the house of David.” It has, at all events, far more for it than the unmeaning καὶ πράξεις αὐτοῦ of the Sept. (Which Movers, p. 179, labours in vain to reduce to a various reading of the original), or the no less unintelligible et diligenter exposita of the Vulg. comp. also Fürst in p. q., p. 215, and in his Hebrew Lexicon under התיחשׁ.
De Wette, Beitr. zur Einl. ins A. T. i., Halle 1806, and Lehrb. der hist.-krit. Einl., etc., 1817, 6th ed. 1845; C. P. W. Gramberg, Die Chron. nach ihrem geschichtl. charakter und ihrer Glaubwürdingkeit neu geprüft, Halle 1823. Comp. also Gesenius, Gesch. der Hebr. Sprache und Schrift, 1815, § 12, p. 37 ff., and Komment. zu Jes., 1821, i. 268 ff.
Kurzgef. exeg. Handb., Einl. p. xliii: “That the author of Chronicles ever intentionally distorted the sense or made felse statements dose not appear from the comparison of the sections parallel With Samuel and Kings. the parallel sections rather warrant the assumption, that even Where he imparts accounts and statements that are not fount in the other book of the O. T., he adhered most closely to his sources,” etc. Quite similar to this is the language of Dillmann in the art. “Chronik” in Herzog’s Real-Encycl. p. 693.
Comp. H. Schultz, Alttestamentl. Theol. ii. p. 274 f., and Oehler’s remark on this passage (Allgliter. Anzeig. 1870, Nov., p. 340): “The way in which here (in Chron.) the doctrine of retribution comes forth, forms the transition to the pharisaic rejection of it, as the comparison of the second book of Maccabees exhibits also in this point the partition between Judaism in the cannon and after it.”
Movers (p. 93) calls the translation of Chronicles in the Sept. “a careful, skilfully-performed, and strictly literal version;” he praises it as “one of the best efforts of these translators,” and as “by far surpassing that of the books of Samuel and Kings proceeding from another author.” On the close adherence of the old Itala to the text of the Sept., comp. Röntsch, Itala und Vulgata (Marb. 1869); Fr. Kaulen, Geschichte der Vulgata (Mainz 1868), p.137 ff.; and Ernst Ranke, Par Palimpsestorum Wirceburgensium, etc., Vindob. 1871.
As examples of omission of long series of names, comp. 1 Chronicles 2:45; 1 Chronicles 2:47-49; 1 Chronicles 4:7 ff.; also of leaving out other long sections, 1 Chronicles 26:13-27, 2 Chronicles 4:11-17; 2 Chronicles 29:10-19; of interpolations, 1 Chronicles 12:1; 1 Chronicles 12:17-19; 1 Chronicles 16:3; 1 Chronicles 16:42; of transpositions, 1 Chronicles 12:15, 2 Chronicles 28:23-25; of deviations from the text or very free translations, 1 Chronicles 2:52; 1 Chronicles 4:12-18; 1 Chronicles 4:33-39, 1 Chronicles 4:2 Chron. 22:19, etc. Comp. Bertheau, p. 48; and for the like peculiarities of the Arabic version derived from it, Roediger, de orig. et indole Arab. librorum V. T. historic. interpretationis, Hal. 1829, p. 104.